A drive-through Coronavirus testing facility is now based at the former Marine Colliery in Cwm, near Ebbw Vale, as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, however mild, can get a free test. Tests should be booked as soon as symptoms begin. The swab test takes less than a minute.
In Wales, members of the public and critical workers with symptoms can apply for a test on the Welsh Government website
Testing is available for everyone, including vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.
Anyone testing positive for the virus in Wales will be contacted by the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service 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.
Leader of Blaenau Gwent Council, Cllr Nigel Daniels said:
“We are pleased to have worked with the Department of Health and Social Care to establish a drive through test centre in Cwm, Blaenau Gwent, as part of the work to ensure an effective Test, Trace, Protect function across the region. It’s welcomed that local people no longer have to travel to Newport or Cardiff if they require a test for Covid-19. The site can only be accessed by pre-booking an appointment.
I know this is a popular area for active travel and for local people to walk and cycle and I’d like to reassure residents that these routes will be fully maintained throughout this period.”
Welsh Government Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“I am pleased to see this new testing centre open in Cwm, near Ebbw Vale, providing more convenient access to testing for people in this area, and boosting our overall testing capacity in Wales.
“Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in Wales can now book a test at a local drive-through centre or order a home testing kit. Scaling up testing forms an important part of our Test, Trace, Protect strategy which will help us ease lockdown measures and help people safely return to work or get back to their normal routines more quickly.”
The Testing Centre is being operated in partnership with Mitie and will offer assisted and self-administered tests.
The UK Government has set up a home-testing service, supported by Amazon's logistics network and other commercial partners. Home test kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house.
In England and Wales, the NHS free testing service is available to everyone.
Everyone with symptoms in Wales can apply for a test by visiting apply for a test on the Welsh Government website. Those unable to access the internet can call to book a test (119 in England and Wales)
The test involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted). Those being tested may experience some mild discomfort, but it should not hurt.
Testing and tracing are central to the UK and Welsh Government’s coronavirus recovery strategy. To stop the spread of the virus, everyone will need to play their part by isolating if symptomatic, booking a test as soon as possible, and if asked to do so, identifying their close contacts. This is the best way to enable life to return to as close to normal as possible, for as many people as possible, in a way that is safe and protects our NHS and social care. See NHS test and trace, and NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect for more information.