They will open at 11am tomorrow and run for a week to allow health authorities to assess take-up in the area.
FOUR WALK-IN testing centres in Dublin, and a fifth in Tullamore, Co Offaly will open tomorrow, in an effort to bring down cases that are high in certain areas.
A GP referral or appointment is not needed to attend, and all tests will be free.
The mobile units are being set up to actively look for cases in areas where there are high rates of community transmission, and will allow people who don’t have symptoms of Covid-19 to get a free test.
Their locations are:
- National Aquatic Centre – Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 – D15HT9N
- Tallaght Stadium – Tallaght, Dublin 24 – D24FNK6
- Irish Town Stadium – Irishtown, Dublin 4 – D04KN77
- Tullamore Leisure Centre – Tullamore – R35A594
- Grangegorman Primary Care Centre car park, (Entrance off NCR)-beside TUD campus – D07VPT0
Photo ID is required and you must provide a mobile phone number to be notified of your results.
The testing centres will be open from 25 March to 31 March, 11am to 7pm
“Increasing the number of people tested will help us better understand how and why the virus is spreading quicker in certain areas,” Health Minister Stephen Donnely said. “The locations have been determined based on local disease prevalence and public health advice.”
The centres will be run jointly by the HSE and the National Ambulance Service.
People allowed to attend are those living within 5km of the testing location. They will start at 11am and run for a week to allow health authorities to assess take-up in the area.
It comes as a senior Government official warned that there has been a stagnation of Covid-19 cases in recent days.
Liz Canavan, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, said: “We know that there have been days over the last week or two where we’ve all groaned at daily numbers, seemingly stuck around 500 or higher.
“This can be very disheartening for so many of us who continue to abide by the public health guidance and do the right thing.
“However, we have to remember how far we have come, and how much we have achieved. Most of us are doing the right thing.
“The new and now predominant variant is much harder to control and much harder to stop reading.
“What is concerning is that there has been a 9% increase week-on-week in case numbers.
“The first increase since the peak of wave three.
“Thirteen counties have a community positivity rate of more than 10%. Rates are higher now compared to where we were just before Christmas.”
She said the walk-in centres will help health officials understand how and why the virus is spreading quicker in certain areas.
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“Around one in five people have Covid-19 without having any symptoms, testing people with those symptoms will help us find positive cases earlier and allow these people to take the necessary action to protect others,” Canavan added.
“This will help us break chains of transmission.”
She said that Gardaí are continuing to see people gathering at people’s homes.
More than 15,350 fines have been issued for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions, with over 2,300 fines issued to people for organising and attending house parties.
Government-led research has revealed that there is an increase in the number of people making social visits to people’s homes and people receiving visitors to their homes.
“We are not necessarily talking about house parties, we are talking about some home visits that are lasting an hour or more, where masks are not being worn,” Canavan added.
“It may may be a cup of coffee with extended family or lunch. With the new variant this is a lot risker than people may think.”
She urged people to think again before making indoor social visits.