CHESHIRE East’s first testing centre will now open on Monday, October 5.

The facility in Crewe was scheduled to open tomorrow, October 1, but the council has confirmed that it will be ready for public use next week.

Residents will be able to access the walk-through site with pre-booked appointments only.

Cllr Jill Rhodes, CEC cabinet member for public health said “I am delighted that we have been able to secure this LTS facility so our local residents and workers will have even greater access to testing should they feel unwell with Covid-19 symptoms.

Dr Matt Tyrer, CEC’s acting director of public health, added: “We have been working very closely with colleagues in the NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside and the Department for Health and Social Care to ensure that we have the most accessible testing facilities for the people of Cheshire East, when and where they need them.

Pilot testing is ongoing at the Chester Street car park site and users will be asked to self-swab when attending.

The council have also confirmed that residents can drive to Crewe, park nearby, and walk through the facility if needs be.

Crewe’s centre will be a semi-permanent facility, which is designed to supplement existing testing sites such as regional and mobile testing units.

Unlike mobile testing units, which CEC has benefitted from, the centre will be open for several months — rather than the usual four-day stay of mobile testers.

CEC officials are also reminding that only symptomatic residents should get a test, to help reduce the burden on the test and trace system.