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New Covid Test Centre in Croydon Sports Arena

Published on 28 January 2021 08:08 AM

Covid Local Testing Centre in Croydon Sports Arena car park

The government will be setting up a second Covid-19 Local Testing Centre in our borough, at Croydon Sports Arena car park, off Albert Road, South Norwood.

Deloitte, who operate the site on behalf of the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), has confirmed that they will arrive tomorrow (Thursday 28 January) to build the centre. It will open for a pilot session the following afternoon and from Saturday 30 January the centre will be fully operational, open 9am-8pm seven days a week. 

Tomorrow, Belmont Road will be closed to enable construction vehicles to safely enter and exit the site during the build, however residents will still have access. Two parking bays will be suspended near the junction with Albert Road and three will be suspended near the junction with Portland Road, as well as two on Portland Road itself. These are temporary measures only, to allow the site build to take place.

Local Testing Centres are part of the National Test and Trace Programme for Covid-19. They are for people with any of the main Covid-19 symptoms to get tested, which helps to identify cases and prevent the virus from spreading among our community. Local Testing Centres are walk-through, which means that people can access them on foot or bicycle, and can be located much closer to local communities. The new centre will make it quicker and easier for residents in the north of the borough to get a test when they need one, including those without access to a car. Croydon’s first Local Testing Centre has been operating in Central Parade, New Addington, since September 2020. A regional testing site has also opened on Beddington Lane with capacity for 1800 tests per day.

The Arena site will operate on an appointment-only basis – tests must be booked in advance, online or by phoning 119.

DHSC has detailed operating procedures which have been signed off by Public Health England to ensure that health and safety is at the forefront, and there will be a number of measures in place including:

  • Social distancing measures: Those being tested will be required to follow Public Health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, going straight home after their test, practicing good hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the centre). After booking their tests, people receive the full address and directions to their local testing site.
  • Personal protective equipment on site: Staff on site, who are required to interact with people being tested, are required to wear PPE. The on-site operational staff do not wear PPE as that is not required. These staff do not come into any contact with any test subjects.
  • Cleaning regime: There is a strict cleaning regime for the site which means that facilities are cleaned multiple times a day to ensure very high standards of hygiene. Waste is removed on a regular basis.
  • Designated areas: The testing areas are segregated from all other areas. All areas have been made to reduce the disturbances to local communities and only operational staff will be in the area of the testing site.

You can watch a video about Local Testing Sites and how they work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcRw92bO8xg&feature=youtu.be.

Croydon Council will be working closely with Deloitte, who operate the site for the government, to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum. Deloitte will also work with our partners at Oasis Academy Arena and GLL to ensure that pupils, staff and visitors have safe access to the school and to Croydon Sports Arena at all times. If you have any concerns about the site operation, you can contact arenalts@croydon.gov.uk

We will be promoting the new testing site to the community as part of our Keep Croydon Safe campaign and we hope you will support us in this through your local networks. We have worked with local stakeholders at the school and GLL, and have written to residents in nearby properties. If people have questions during the set up period please ask them to write to arenalts@croydon.gov.uk

Local Testing Centres are a vital part of our defence against Covid-19 and I want to thank you for your support in helping to keep our communities safe.

Rachel Flowers
Director of Public Health