A CORONAVIRUS testing site has opened in a Herefordshire border town amid a warning from the council that the county cannot risk "another deadly wave".

From Monday (February 15), a Covid-19 mobile testing unit will be at the recreation facilities car park in Brecon Road, Hay-on-Wye.

The testing centres have been moving around Powys, and people with an appointment and coronavirus symptoms can get a drive-through test close to home.

Hay-on-Wye Town Council said on their website that anyone arriving without an appointment, or not in a vehicle, will be turned away.

"The continued rotation of the units is part of a rolling programme of mobile testing to ensure residents have access to Covid-19 testing as close to home as possible," the council said.

"Residents who are have symptoms but are unable to attend a mobile testing unit can request a Home Testing Kit, delivered to your home.

"Appointments in Hay-on-Wye or elsewhere, can be booked through the UK Government national booking portal, either online at gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, by phone on 119, or 18001 119 for people with hearing or speech difficulties. This is also the way to request a home testing kit.

"With a new variant that can pass more easily between people, the testing teams are urging people to continue to report to their nearest testing unit if they become unwell with any of the signs and symptoms."


Other testing centres are in Newtown and Brecon where people can walk, drive or cycle for a test.

It's as Powys residents are warned that Covid-19 remains a constant threat despite what the county council says has been a successful vaccine roll-out so far.

Official figures show Powys has passed the tragic total of more than 200 coronavirus-related deaths, with 20 deaths being registered in the week up to February 6 – the second highest weekly total during the outbreak.

Powys County Council leader Rosemarie Harris said: “The tragic milestone is a reminder that this dreadful virus is still a danger to everyone, and we must maintain our vigilance and follow national restrictions. We must not forget that every case is a tragedy for a Powys household and must do all that we can to stop the spread to this terrible virus.

“The successful roll-out of the vaccine programme is good news for everyone but it cannot solve the problem alone, it is essential that residents follow national restrictions, we cannot risk another deadly wave of the virus.”

Director of public health Stuart Bourne said: “Even if you've had your Covid-19 vaccine, it's important that you continue to follow national guidelines. You could potentially still carry and transmit the virus to other vulnerable people, even if you are protected.

“The infection rate continues to remain high in Powys and across Wales, so it is more vital than ever that if you are feeling unwell, are showing any signs or symptoms of coronavirus, you must first self-isolate immediately, and book a test as soon as possible.

"Social distancing and personal hygiene are still the most effective way to avoid catching the virus.

“People should be reassured if they receive their vaccination, but like all vaccines, whether it be flu or other viruses, they offer a high level of protection, but will not be 100 per cent effective for everyone.

"People could potentially still catch coronavirus without showing any clear signs and symptoms, then pass it onto somebody who could potentially become very ill.”

Latest figures from Public Health Wales show the infection rate in Powys, expressed as the number of new cases in the seven days to February 10 per 100,000 people, had risen from 84.6 to 120.1.