A COVID-19 testing facility has been relocated without warning overnight in Hampshire.
The GMB Union have said they were given ‘no notice’ as a COVID-19 testing facility was relocated to Southampton Airport overnight.
The facility, which was created as a lorry park in Tipner as part of no-deal Brexit preparations, was converted into a testing site during the first lockdown in April in order to provide testing for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s NHS staff.
Whilst the Department for Health and Social Care said that the site would be moved to Southampton Airport, they did not confirm a date and the GMB union – the largest general trade union in the UK representing many workers including NHS staff – believed it would be available until early October at least.
It comes at a time where the government is under huge scrutiny regarding COVID-19 testing, something which Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer has repeatedly claimed is “on the brink of collapse”.
DHSC said that whilst the Tipner site had been closed, there were sites available for testing at Southampton Airport, Eldon Road in Portsmouth, and two further locations in Southampton, with a spokesman for the department adding that most people could receive a test within six miles of home.
Director of Public Health at Hampshire County Council Simon Bryant confirmed that whilst the council “were aware the move was due in the near future, the logistics […] were organised nationally”.
As of 30th September, a total of 22,209,600 swab tests had been conducted in the UK, with 453,264 people testing positive.