A NEW walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened for those with symptoms to book appointments at a Hereford car park.

The revamped site at Merton Meadow car park is part of the Government's UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Testing at the site is only available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms can get a test at the site, or by booking a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119.

The new site is situated so it is easily accessible without a car, meaning it is now open for people on foot or in a car – with Herefordshire Council saying the new site would be "more permanent".

Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.

Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through test site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

"Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts," a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said.

"This will help to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

"Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for ten days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.

"They will be advised to also get a test if they develop symptoms."

Testing at the new site started on Saturday, 15 May after it closed on Monday for the improvements.

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie and will offer self-administered tests.