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Monday 25th May 2020

Coronavirus: Chessington World of Adventures and Boots hosting drive-through testing

Testing has started for thousands of NHS workers

Drive-through coronavirus testing facilities have opened for NHS workers in Boots and Chessington World of Adventures.

Thousands have been through the testing facility in the theme park, and it will continue for several days.

Meanwhile, Boots' headquarters in Nottingham has also been providing testing for health staff.

NHS workers were cheered on Thursday night (Credit: Splash News)

Michael Gove confirmed yesterday that widespread testing was to begin for NHS staff and other health service workers.

Antigen testing

The testing which has now started is antigen testing, which can tell if a person currently has COVID-19.

That's opposed to an antibody test, which reveals if someone has already had - and recovered from - COVID-19.

It means that any health workers who are found to be clear of the deadly virus but were staying away from work are therefore safe to return.

Read more: Coronavirus: Doctors in China 'reveal up to 14% of recovered patients test for it again'

Tyne Bridge turned blue in a tribute to health service workers on Thursday (Credit: Splash News)

Testing is a game changer

In the test, a swab is taken from the nose or throat before it is sent to a laboratory. Results take at least 24 hours to come through.

A source told The Sun: "This is what the public, the experts and the medics have been crying out for in the past few weeks.

"Testing is so important and, if this helps the heroes on the frontline do their jobs, it could be a massive game-changer."

Exeter residents joined in the applause for health workers on Thursday (Credit: Splash News)

Read more: Coronavirus: UK has its biggest jump yet as death toll rises to 759

Volunteers from Boots have helped set up the facility at the company's head office site in just 10 days and they will also be conducting the testing.

It is one of a number of sites preparing to take samples from NHS workers.

They will be taken to three new hub laboratories set up by an alliance of universities, research institutes and companies.

Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: "There are bound to be teething problems, so we cannot switch on hundreds of thousands of lab tests overnight.

"But we hope that soon these hub laboratories will be operating round the clock, allowing us to significantly scale up our testing."

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