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COVID-19 Testing

Controlling the spread of coronavirus

Testing is a vital tool for protecting people and our communities.

Find the latest information from Westminster City Council about how you can get a Covid-19 test and what is involved.

Find out more about vaccinations

Coronavirus testing in Westminster

Testing is the most effective way to control the spread of coronavirus.

Westminster is now offering two types of coronavirus testing:

•  For people who have symptoms of the virus (a new persistent cough, high temperature or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste).
•  For people who are not showing any symptoms (symptom-free testing).

In addition to getting tested, the most important thing we can all do to prevent the spread of the virus is to remember the basics:

•  Wash your hands more often than usual and for at least 20 seconds
•  Wear your face covering in enclosed spaces
•  Keep your distance - try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble)

Tests for people without symptoms

Testing is the most effective way to control the spread of coronavirus. You can now get tested for coronavirus even if you don’t have symptoms.

The symptom-free coronavirus testing sites will be open seven days a week. You do not need to book in order to get a free test.

Symptom-free tests will available at the following locations seven days a week:

•  Little Venice Sports Centre, 10 Crompton Street, London, W2 1ND - 10am - 4pm
•  Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, Westminster, London SW1P 1QH - 10am - 4pm
• Moberly Sports Centre, 25 Chamberlayne Rd, Ladbroke Grove, Kensal Green, London NW10 3NB - 10am - 4pm

A test takes less than five minutes and results will be with you within an hour.

Tests for people with symptoms

Coronavirus mobile testing dates - Hyde Park

A mobile coronavirus testing unit will be available on North Carriage Drive in Hyde Park between 9am and 3pm:

•  Monday 18 January
•  Thursday 21 January
•  Thursday 28 and Friday 29 January

Booking may not be available until closer to the dates. If booking is not available, please book a test at one of our semi-permanent, walk-through testing centres.

You can only be tested if you have pre-booked an appointment that can be booked online on the NHS website or by calling NHS 119.

Walk-through testing for people who have symptoms

The semi-permanent, walk-through testing centres are open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm. They can be used by anyone with symptoms or who has been asked to get a test. A test must be booked in advance at NHS online or by calling 119.

The centres are managed and run by the Department of Health and Social Care and increase the number of tests available to residents in Westminster. Each testing centre is able to undertake at least 200 tests per day.  

Centres are in the below community halls. This means that these community halls are closed to the public. Existing bookings and regular users of the community halls are being provided with alternative community spaces so that their activities can continue.

•  Greenside Community Centre, 24 Lilestone St, Marylebone, London NW8 8SR
•  Grosvenor Hall, Vincent Street, London SW1P 4HB
•  Lydford Tenants and Residents Hall, 74 Fernhead Road, London W9 3EW

You can only be tested if you have pre-booked an appointment that can be booked online on the NHS website or by calling NHS 119.

Testing sites FAQs

Why have you launched walk-through testing centres? Who are they targeted for?

We have launched this additional route to allow people without access to cars to book appointments, and to improve accessibility to testing in the heart of communities who need it most.

Why have we chosen these sites?

The Department of Health and Social Care has a very strict criteria for semi-permanent testing sites. The three locations offer the space, accessibility and entry and exit points to allow for the testing of as many residents as possible.

Is this safe – why are you asking symptomatic people to walk into busy places?

Anyone attending an appointment at a walk-through testing site will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, including: adhering to social distancing; not travelling in a taxi or on public transport; wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre); and washing their hands thoroughly before leaving for their appointment. This approach has been agreed with expert clinical oversight.

What are you doing to keep residents safe?

The following safety measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of our residents:

•  daily enhanced cleaning of each testing centre
•  all staff working in the testing centres will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) and each day all waste will be disposed of and removed as clinical waste
•  additional security will be available at each site, ensuring that anyone waiting for a test is wearing a face covering and social distancing
•  layouts at walk-through testing sites have been carefully designed to ensure people can move around them safely and prevent spread of the virus

How long will the semi-permanent coronavirus testing centres be in place?

We anticipate that the testing centres will be in place for six months. This will be continually reviewed depending on the local situation in Westminster.

What will happen to my community hall booking?

Existing bookings and regular users of the community halls are being provided with alternative community spaces so that their activities can continue. If you are a user of the hall and were thinking about making a booking or attending an activity please contact spaceforhire@westminster.gov.uk or call 0207 245 2861 to make an enquiry.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about the semi-permanent testing centres?

 

NHS COVID-19 App

How Test and Trace works

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must stay at home and ask for a coronavirus test through the NHS or by calling NHS 119.

Find out about testing sites in Westminster and when they are operating.

You must take the following steps if you have coronavirus symptoms or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace that you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus:

1.  If you have one or more symptoms of coronavirus, which are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), you must immediately self-isolate.

2.  You then must book a test through NHS.UK or call NHS 119. Testing is available for anyone who has symptoms

3.  You must isolate for 10 days if you test positive. You will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace who will help you identify who you have been in contact with and will gather their contact details. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 10 days, even if they do not have symptoms.

If you test positive, our Westminster Connects service can support you with things like food shopping.

If you're told to self-isolate, are unable to work from home and your income will fall as a result, you may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

By playing your part, you will directly help to contain coronavirus.

See the daily breakdown of cases of coronavirus in England, across London, and in Westminster.

 

Local Contact Tracing

We are now carrying out local contact tracing in Westminster.

This means that NHS Test and Trace will pass on details to the council of residents they have not been able to contact within 24 hours. The council will then try to make contact with the resident letting them know that they have coronavirus and what to do.

If you are contacted by the council, we will explain how long you need to self-isolate for and ask what support you need in order to do this. For example, we can arrange to get food and medicines delivered to you. If you need financial support, we will provide information on how you can access this.

We will also check with people who are already self-isolating to ensure they have the support they need.

More information about the national NHS Test and Trace service.

If you have a question about local contact tracing in Westminster please email westminsterconnects@westminster.gov.uk

Test and Trace advice in other languages

Coronavirus guides are available in other languages on GOV.UK. This covers government advice on shielding, staying at home, and for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person.

Translated posters and resources are also available to download on the Public Health England Campaign Resources Centre.

Watch or listen to our Test and Trace explainer

FAQS and advice

Test and Trace questions answered

Frequently asked Test and Trace questions:

Read our NHS Test and Trace service FAQs

GOV.UK NHS Test and Trace: how it works

Download the NHS COVID-19 App

For more information and to keep up to date visit NHS coronavirus advice

How test and trace works
Keeping our city safe

How test and trace works

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you must stay at home and ask for a coronavirus test through the NHS or by calling NHS 119.

You must take the following steps if you have coronavirus symptoms or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace that you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus:

  1. If you have one or more symptoms of coronavirus, which are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), you must immediately self-isolate.
  2. You then must book a test through NHS.UK or call NHS 119. Testing is available for anyone who has symptoms
  3. If you test positive, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace who will help you identify who you have been in contact with and will gather their contact details. You must isolate for 7 days. People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms.

The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

By playing your part, you will directly help to contain coronavirus.

Keeping our city safe

The council will support NHS Test and Trace, by responding to any local outbreaks of coronavirus should they occur.

The council’s Outbreak Control Plan outlines how we will support Public Health England in identifying and containing any local outbreaks, identified by NHS Test and Trace. 

The plan sets out how we will: 

  1. Manage any local outbreaks of coronavirus
  2. Quickly and efficiently respond to any patterns of coronavirus as they emerge 
  3. Work closely with national and regional partners to ensure everyone who needs a test, has access to one  
  4. Build trust and confidence among our communities in using NHS Test and Trace 
  5. Protect our most vulnerable residents and prevent and mitigate any outbreaks within our high-risk settings   
  6. Ensure any resident who needs to self-isolate, and needs support from the council - gets it. 

Protecting our communities

We’re continuing to follow all government advice to help suppress the spread of coronavirus. We’ve spoken to our Church Street community on what they’re doing to stop the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their community. Watch the film here.

Keeping our city safe

The council will support NHS Test and Trace, by responding to any local outbreaks of coronavirus should they occur.

The council’s Outbreak Control Plan outlines how we will support Public Health England in identifying and containing any local outbreaks, identified by NHS Test and Trace. 

The plan sets out how we will: 

1.   Manage any local outbreaks of coronavirus

2.   Quickly and efficiently respond to any patterns of coronavirus as they emerge

3.   Work closely with national and regional partners to ensure everyone who needs a test, has access to one

4.   Build trust and confidence among our communities in using NHS Test and Trace

5.   Protect our most vulnerable residents and prevent and mitigate any outbreaks within our high-risk settings

6.   Ensure any resident who needs to self-isolate, and needs support from the council - gets it.

View our Outbreak Control Plan - it aims to protect everyone who lives, works and visits Westminster.

NHS Test and Trace outreach sessions

Our Community Engagement Team are offering virtual sessions explaining the latest COVID-19 advice, how NHS Test and Trace works and answering your questions or concerns. These hour long sessions are available to Westminster charities, voluntary and community groups and our faith sector.

If you’re interested in these sessions, please contact community.engagement@westminster.gov.uk

Government advice for businesses

For the latest advice on NHS Test and Trace and working safely during coronavirus, please visit:

GOV.UK NHS Test and Trace: workplace guidance

GOV.UK Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

GOV.UK COVID-19: guidance for food businesses

NHS QR code posters

From Thursday 24 September it is a legal requirement for most businesses and venues to display NHS QR code posters. Check to see if your business or venue is required to do this.

Using NHS QR codes will help businesses and venues to meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises. Find out how to create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue.

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