Bromley borough is set to receive a new permanent Covid-19 testing centre, the local authority has announced, as the Government looks to ramp up testing targets and reliability amid widespread reports of  residents struggling to access site across London.

Bromley Council announced on Monday the new centre would be established at Cotmandene Crescent Car Park in St Paul’s Cray, following a bid to the Government by Bromley Public Health.

The new permanent testing facility will be run on behalf of the Government by multinational security firm G4S.

The council says residents should book or order tests as soon as symptoms begin by calling 119 or visiting - and not by contacting the council itself.  

According to the council testing is scheduled to start at the site on Friday, September 18, subject to a successful site visit.

The ramping up of testing capacity in the borough will come as good news amid a backdrop of residents across London reporting difficulties accessing testing locally.

The local democracy reporting service revealed last week that some south-east London residents have been directed to testing sites in rural Wales and as far north as Leicester as demand for tests surged, leading to a backlog.

It’s the second major testing centre in the borough, alongside the drive-through facility which has operated throughout the pandemic at Norman Park.

The council confirmed it was also looking for a suitable site for another facility in the north of the borough.

Bromley Council maintained that anyone with coronavirus symptoms “however mild” should book a free swab test.

“The work to diminish the spread of Coronavirus goes on in the Borough amongst fears that the number of rising cases could lead to further restrictions, which none of us would want,” Cllr Diane Smith, Bromley’s executive member for adult care and health said:

“We must continue to work together to combat this virus and do our bit to help prevent it spreading.

“We welcome this new facility and continue to press for an additional site in the north of the borough, which we hope to have news on shortly”

The recycling banks on the site will still be fully operational, though parking will no longer be possible within the car park.

The council says tests should be booked or ordered as soon as symptoms begin at or by calling 119.

The authority also appealed to resident to take all possible measures to minimise the risk of catching coronavirus by keeping your distance, regularly washing your hands and wearing a face covering where required.