New Covid-19 testing centre opens in Banbury town centre

A new Covid-19 testing centre in the Banbury town centre has opened.

By Matt Elofson
Monday, 27th September 2021, 10:42 am

A new walk-through coronavirus (Covid-19) testing facility has opened for people to book appointments at 36 Bridge Street, Banbury as part of the government’s drive to continue to improve the accessibility of Covid-19 testing for local communities.

Cherwell District Council officials confirmed the old M&S building at the Castle Quay Shopping Centre is serving as the new main Covid-19 testing centre for Banbury. There will be no access to the testing centre from within the Castle Quay Shopping Mall. Officials said this unit at the centre was chosen specifically because of its entrances from the street.

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

Covid-19 testing is also available for those asked to get a test, which could be by NHS Test and Trace if they’re a close contact of a positive case, by a clinician or their local authority, by a testing pilot or via their work. Instead of self-isolating, those who are fully vaccinated and under 18s identified as close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases are advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible.

Free, twice-weekly rapid testing is available to everyone in England without symptoms. Getting tested will be critical to control the virus as society reopens, including the spread of variants.

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at or by calling 119. The government is committed to making it even easier to get tested and to reducing 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, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.

A new Covid-19 testing centre in the Banbury town centre is set to open tomorrow, Thursday September 23.

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Testing at the new site starts from today, Thursday September 23, with appointments made available each day.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. 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 10 days if they are not fully vaccinated to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus.

Cherwell District Council officials have confirmed the old M&S building at the Castle Quay Shopping Centre will serve as the new main Covid-19 testing centre for Banbury.

Jenny Harries, CEO of UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “This new walk-through site is part of our ongoing work to make it even easier for people who need a PCR test to get one.

“If you have developed a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, or you are asked or advised to get a test, please book one and follow any advice you’re given.

“As we return to a more familiar way of life, testing, and isolating when necessary, remain a vital way of controlling the spread of the virus and protecting one another.”