A DRIVE-THRU coronavirus testing centre has been set up outside the University of Bolton Stadium in the fight to tackle the pandemic.

Testing at the site will be for key workers who have displayed symptoms in the last three days as well as people who live with key workers and have suspected coronavirus symptoms.

Self-swab tests will only be available by booking an appointment.

The Bolton News:

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We have been working closely with our partners in the health service to set up a local COVID-19 testing centre for essential workers in Bolton.

“Self-swab tests will be available by appointment only at the drive through centre.

“Testing will be available for staff who have developed symptoms within the last 72 hours, tests will also be given to people who live with essential workers and have suspected coronavirus symptoms.

“After an initial pilot period, testing will be rolled out to essential workers in the borough.”

Horwich-based Aquila Shelters Limited supplied three tents to the testing site yesterday, Tuesday.

He said: "I am happy and proud to help the NHS.

"It is good to help out in any way.

"I have supported Bolton Wanderers all my life so it is really nice for me to have some shelters set up there.

"I am very happy to be involved.

“When the lockdown started all our events running from April to September got cancelled and we had to put half of our workforce on furlough.

"It is good in two respects - to get some work and to help the NHS.

“We manufacture the shelter systems and are hiring them out to the NHS.”

The Bolton News:

The company, which contribute to big events such as Bolton Pride and make tents for schools and sports clubs, also supplied two shelters to a testing centre outside the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford three weeks ago. 

Simon is in talks with other companies to supply more shelters as well.

Bolton Wanderers' CEO Emma Beaugeard said: "The council and NHS are doing a dry run to see if it works on the site.

"Last night (Tuesday) they informed us that it does work, and they are now hoping to go live with the testing station on Thursday.

"The centre is initially for key workers only."

The testing base is part of the Government's effort to ramp up testing rapidly and have 100,000 people tested daily for COVID-19 by the end of April.

On Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock widened the eligibility for those who can be tested to anyone over the age of 65 and people who have to leave their home to go to work, who have coronavirus symptoms.

He also said anyone working on the frontline in the NHS and social care, as well as NHS hospital patients and care home residents, whether or not they have symptoms, can now be tested.