Gatwick car park converted to drive-through virus testing centre

A long-stay car park at Gatwick is to be used as a drive-through testing centre as part of action to fight coronavirus.

The site is opening on Wednesday, initially for use by NHS staff and invited key workers.

The facility will be available between 9am and 5pm on an appointment-only basis.

The move follows the grounding of most airline fleets and the airport reducing operations via single terminal.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “We are pleased to support the national effort against the spread of the coronavirus by allowing Gatwick facilities to be used as a vital testing centre for frontline health workers.

“We have the space available at Gatwick to be able to host such a large-scale operation.

“Alongside keeping the airport open to support repatriation flights, amongst others, we are happy to be able to support the NHS, government and the country in whatever way we can.”

 Health minister Lord Bethell said: “The government is rapidly scaling up the national effort to boost testing capacity for coronavirus to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives.

“This new service will help end the uncertainty of whether NHS and social care staff need to stay at home meaning those who test negative will be able to return to work.

“This is a national effort and we are proud to be working with a number of partners to turn this ambition into a reality and roll out additional capacity to where it is needed.”

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