Today a new walk-through Covid-19 testing centre has been opened in the shared car park at the Jack Kane Leisure Centre and the Jack Kane Community Centre.

This is a UK Government site part of a network. In Scotland there are now seven drive through sites, 32 walk through, 42 mobile units and the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab which is part of the testing regime in Scotland.

As at 24 February 4.47 million tests have been conducted in Scotland. Of these 2.64 million have been carried out through UK Government labs in Scotland. The rest have been processed in NHS labs.

Tests must be booked in advance at: www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816. People should only book at test if they have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste).

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart said: “The UK Government is doing everything it can to support people in all parts of the UK through the pandemic.

“Testing continues to play an important role how we manage the virus alongside the roll out of vaccines, helping to identify local outbreaks, slow down the rate of transmission and protect communities. I would like to thank the public for continuing to do the right thing and come forward to be tested when they display symptoms.

“The UK Government continues to provide the bulk of testing in Scotland, with this new walk-through centre in Edinburgh just the latest in our extensive network. We have also secured and paid for millions of doses of the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines for all parts of the UK.

“Hope is on the horizon, but we can’t let up on our efforts to contain the virus.”

Minister for Public Health and Sport Mairi Gougeon said: “Containing and suppressing this virus relies on testing being accessible to everyone. The walk through testing centre in Edinburgh Niddrie is the 32nd  site across Scotland and will further increase our testing capacity ahead of potential spikes as we move through winter.

“Centres like this can be operational in a matter of days, and we are working at pace with NHS National Services Scotland and local authorities to roll out more across the country so that more people have access to local testing.

“We will continue to adapt our testing strategy in line with the different stages of the pandemic. To protect ourselves and others, it’s vital that people continue to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces, avoid crowded places, clean hands and surfaces regularly, follow two metre physical distancing advice, and self-isolate and book a test – if you have symptoms.”

Cllr Adam McVey, The City of Edinburgh Council Leader said: “Our number one priority is keeping Edinburgh’s residents safe and the best way to do that is to keep encouraging everyone to follow the latest guidance and to arrange to get themselves tested if they develop any Covid-19 symptoms.

“Our other testing sites across Edinburgh have been helping hundreds of people every week to get tested so it’s really welcome that this new site is opening in the south-east of the city. We’ll keep the use of the Jack Kane Centre under review to ensure that when it’s possible for Edinburgh Leisure to reopen for sport and leisure use, the venues can operate efficiently.”