Two Glasgow City Council mini-buses have been converted into mobile Covid testing units which will offer rapid tests to people without symptoms.
Fitted with a solar panel to power on-board equipment, the buses have been commissioned by the council's Covid Response Team which is working in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Scottish Government.
Staffed by NHS nurses, the buses will provide a flexible testing option to complement existing Covid testing sites which already exist across the city. Emblazoned with the Test and Protect logo, the buses are an unmissable addition to the city's testing facilities.
City Building staff converted the buses in consultation with the council's Environmental Health and transport experts and the NHS. The testing booth is at the rear of the vehicle which has a ramp for wheelchair access. Test results are sent to people by text message and before leaving the bus, they are given a leaflet detailing the support on offer if they have to self-isolate.
The first of the buses is deployed outside the Kibble Palace at Glasgow's Botanic Gardens today (Monday 12th July) and tomorrow (10m-4pm) where staff are offering free drop-in Covid tests to members of the public without Covid symptoms as well as giving out self-testing kits for people to use at home. This is because you can have the virus without realising and could infect other people. The bus will also be at the Botanic Gardens next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10am-4pm.
Public health officials are asking people without symptoms to get tested, either at home or in the community, twice a week - to help reduce the spread of the virus in Scotland.
Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, took a Covid test, which proved negative, while launching the first of the new buses. The second bus will be deployed soon.
Cllr McDonald said: "Twice weekly Covid testing for people without symptoms is extremely important as it can help stem the spread of the virus by picking up positive cases which might otherwise go undetected. These two new buses converted by the council are a valuable addition to the city's existing testing facilities. Cases remain high and we must stay vigilant.
"I'd encourage residents to make regular testing part of their weekly routine to help protect themselves, their families and our communities and also to get both doses of the vaccine when they're offered to them."
Other testing sites operating in the city for people without Covid symptoms are in the car park of the Forge Shopping Centre in Parkhead and the overflow car park in Barrland Street, Pollokshields. A mobile testing unit at Skypark in Finnieston closed on Friday and has moved to the Scotstoun Sports complex in Danes Drive where it is open from 9.30am to 6pm seven days a week.
Free testing kits can also be ordered quickly and easily online or collected from a local participating pharmacy. Further details at https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/test-and-protect/coronavirus-covid-19-get-a-test-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms
Free testing also remains available to anyone with Covid symptoms. Anyone with a fever, new continuous cough or loss of / change in taste or smell should isolate straight away and book a test at NHSinformClare.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816. Please do not go along to the testing bus locations as they are only for people without symptoms.