Got symptoms? Get tested at new Coronavirus testing site in Leigh-on-Sea

January 22, 2021

A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has been opened by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) at Elm Road car park in Leigh-on-Sea (car park next to the Leigh Community Centre). The site is for those with symptoms to book appointments and is part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.

Testing 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 should book a test at or by calling 119. The government is committed to continue expanding the capacity of the network of UK test sites and laboratories to make it even easier to get tested and reduce the time it takes to receive test results.

The new site is situated so it is easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising 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. Testing at the new site started on Wednesday 20 January 2021, with appointments made available each day.

The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history which has the capacity to process more than 500,000 tests a day and includes more than 600 sites across the UK, including drive-through sites, walk-through sites, mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five Lighthouse laboratories.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people 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 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.

The council has worked with the DHSC and its partners to get the new site open and operating.

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health and chair of the local outbreak control oversight and engagement board, said: “It is great to have so many testing facilities and options for those with symptoms available in the Borough, including this new local testing site in Leigh-on-Sea, the local testing site at Short Street, and the mobile unit at Southend airport. We also have three rapid testing sites across the Borough for those without symptoms.

“If anyone has symptoms, then they should book a free test online at or call 119. We want to remove barriers that may prevent someone getting tested, and the opening of this walk-through site will help. Getting a swab test takes less than a minute, is relatively pain free and results from test sites are received quickly

“Having more testing facilities locally will encourage more people to get tested, and it therefore follows that this may lead to an increase in the reporting of positive COVID-19 cases. However residents and businesses should be reassured that we have the plans and measures in place through our local outbreak control plan to tackle and control any spread.”

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said: “It is important that we all remember that each and every one of us has a role to play in reducing the spread of the virus. It is still very much with us, and so it is really important that if you have symptoms, no matter how mild, you stay at home, isolate and book a free test.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to work with the DHSC to get this further new testing site that will support local people and local businesses to attend an easy to reach walk-through testing facility.”

A number of other testing options are available for residents across the Borough, including three rapid testing sites in Leigh-on-Sea, central Southend-on-Sea and Shoeburyness. These rapid LFD sites are available for people without symptoms. Appointments need to be booked online in advance:

University Square site, Southend-on-Sea:

St Aidan’s site, Leigh-on-Sea:

Shoebury Youth Centre site, Shoeburyness:


For further information on testing, visit


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