Anyone without Covid-19 symptoms who lives, works or studies in two areas of Reigate & Banstead is being encouraged to come forward for testing from Friday 18 June.
- Area one is focused around Banstead, Walton-on-the-Hill and Tattenham corner
- Area two is Reigate “town centre”
A postcode checker can be used to check the affected areas.
Both adults and children are being asked to come forward during the initiative which will run Friday 18 to Sunday 27 June at four mobile testing centres.
However, anyone with symptoms should not attend but should instead book a PCR test by calling 119, visiting nhs.uk or via the NHS Covid-19 app.
The move follows a rise in COVID-19 cases locally over the last few weeks, with an increasing number of them being the Delta variant.
Cllr Mark Brunt, leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “The ask is two pronged – we are asking everyone who lives, works or studies in the affected areas to get a PCR test, but also to ensure they get vaccinated as soon they are offered – both their first and second doses. We know that two doses offer much more protection.
“While overall case rates are nowhere near the rates we saw at the beginning of the year, they are rising. We are taking this proactive approach to reduce the spread so that we can all continue to enjoy our returned freedoms. Please play your part.”
Details of where to get a test
Testing units will be positioned in the following locations from Friday 18 June to Sunday 27 June.
- Tadworth Leisure Centre, Preston Manor Rd, Tadworth KT20 5FB
- Banstead High Street car park, 58-60 High St, Banstead SM7 2LX
- The Mound car park, Tattenham Corner KT18 5QB
- Reigate – Town Hall, Castlefield Rd, Reigate RH2 0SH
- Friday 18 June – 10am to 6pm
- Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June – 8am to 6pm
- Monday 21 June to Wednesday 23 June – 10am to 8pm
- Thursday 24 June to Sunday 27 June – 9am to 5pm
The testing process
- The units are not bookable; people should turn up when they can
- It’s anticipated that they will be busier outside working hours, during lunch times and after school drop offs, so people who can avoid the busy times are being asked to do so.
- Results will be sent to individuals directly, usually within 48 hours
- Individuals are not required to isolate while waiting for the results, only if they receive a positive test
- Anyone who tests positive, must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace.
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council said: “Extensive surveillance of Covid-19 has identified that case rates in the borough of Reigate & Banstead have been increasing for the past few weeks. This is especially evident in the younger age groups, including secondary school age children.
“In addition to this, an increasing number of these are the Delta variant, which not only is more transmissible than the Alpha (Kent) strain but may also be associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation nationally, for those who have not been fully vaccinated.
“In response to this, working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace, Surrey County Council and Reigate & Banstead Borough Council will stand up additional mass testing in the two affected areas.
“Anyone without symptoms who lives, works or studies in these areas is strongly encouraged to take a PCR Covid-19 test this week. This includes adults and children. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should not take part in the surge testing, but should instead book a PCR test via 119, NHS.UK or the NHS Covid-19 app.
“Testing will, in combination with measures such as hands-face-space and following national guidance, help to suppress and control the spread of the virus.
“Positive tests with a high enough viral load will be sequenced enabling a better understanding of the variant(s) and the potential spread.
“Four mobile testing units specifically for this additional testing will be positioned across the borough.”
Ruth Hutchinson, Director of Public Health, Surrey County Council said: “We’ve been seeing rates rising in Reigate and Banstead for some weeks, and we now have evidence of community transmission of the Delta variant. Surge testing in the affected areas is the best way we have of identifying cases and making sure anyone who tests positive isolates, in order to prevent further spread of the variant.
“We know that the Delta variant is more transmissible, so it’s even more important for people to follow the guidance at this time – limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face. If you test positive, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus.
“From Friday 18 June, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible for the vaccine, so please make sure you book in for your jab, and get both doses, to protect yourself and everyone around you.”
More information is available on a Reigate and Banstead Borough Council surge testing webpage.
- Shortly after publication, on 17 June, this article was updated to refer to anyone who “lives, works or studies” in the two areas rather than just “lives or works”. “Lives or works” was used in a Surrey CC news release, but a version sent by RBBC used “lives, works or studies”. We have confirmed with RBBC that their version is correct. Both councils’ information pages are consistent with this.
- This article was updated on 18 June to reflect a revised closing time for that day published by RBBC.