Five ‘Walk-in’ test centres available in areas of high rates of coronavirus in Dublin and in Tullamore from tomorrow

Five new walk-in Covid-19 test centres are to be opened in areas of high transmission tomorrow.The tests will be free of charge and a GP referral will not be needed to attend the centres.

Four new sites will open in Dublin, at Tallaght Stadium, Irishtown Stadium, Blanchardstown Centre – Mr Price Carpark and Grangegorman Primary Car Park. There will also be a new centre at Spollens Car Park in Tullamore Co Offaly.The sites do not require booking beforehand and are open to those within 5km.

Each centre will be working with the National Ambulance Service and will aim to carry out between 300 and 500 tests a day. On arrival, a person seeking a test will be asked for photo ID and their mobile phone number.The testing centres will be open from Thursday, 25 March to Wednesday, 31 March from 11am to 7pm. Social distancing will apply as people turn up for testing.

Health Minister Stephen Donnely said. “The locations have been determined based on local disease prevalence and public health advice.”

People allowed to attend are those living within 5km of the testing location. They will start at 11am and run for a week to allow health authorities to assess take-up in the area.It comes as a senior Government official warned that there has been a stagnation of Covid-19 cases in recent days.

Liz Canavan, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, said: “We know that there have been days over the last week or two where we’ve all groaned at daily numbers, seemingly stuck around 500 or higher.This can be very disheartening for so many of us who continue to abide by the public health guidance and do the right thing.”

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