Covid walk-through and drive-through test site to open in Margate

Covid test site when it was set up at the Dreamland car park in October 2020

A Covid testing centre is being set up at the council-owned car park by Dreamland.

The centre will provide both a drive through and a walk through service and is being operated by Deloitte which already runs the testing site at Manston airport.

The site is being opened on October 15 as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.

Testing will be available only for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at or by calling 119.

From the start of the pandemic, testing has been prioritised for the most vulnerable, including patients in clinical settings and care home residents, vital health and care staff and to manage outbreaks.

The Margate site will be easily accessible without a car.

Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face-covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.

The site is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history, which now includes more than 500 sites available across the UK, including 77 drive-through sites, 156 walk-through sites, 258 mobile units, home testing and satellite kits and five mega laboratories.

Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them trace their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.

Tests involve taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves (self-administered) or by someone else (assisted). Those being tested may experience some mild discomfort but it should not hurt.

Anyone taking a test at a test site can expect their results the next day.


  1. So, if you’re expected not to go there by taxi or public transport, how do you access the facility if you don’t have a car?

    • How on God’s earth do you possibly cover every single persons personal circumstances Phyllis? get every tester to walk to their door? Oh dear no one’s home, leave a note so they can invite them back at a more convenient time so they don’t miss them again?? Stop putting up obstacles for the sake of something to say.

    • Ditto that! I am at high risk, and live in Ramsgate, and no longer drive! In fact as I am in my 79th year, even walking is out of the question nowadays. I suppose I could bike over there though, if the weather is kind to me!

  2. Agree with Buck Rogers and FedupB, you can always get a home test sent out to you.
    Some people wouldn’t be happy with a personal testing lab right outside their front door!

  3. Quite happy to have a home kit sent to my door.
    I just wondered what the point was of having a walk through test centre if you can only get to it by driving.

  4. Yes ,I wondered that. It’ll be okay for people who live in Margate and can walk or cycle to it, but people without a car will have to get a cab (if they can afford to)or get a home test.

  5. Why not a centre in each town? I wonder if anyone has crunched the numbers on how many positive tests were from car drivers. So how many have been missed who couldn’t get to a test centre?

  6. More money for the boys, a contract given to an accountantancy firm to set up a testing facility , which will in all likelihood do very few tests. Then the lie that the info will be dealt with by NHS Track and Trace, if only ! It won’t, it will be SERCO contracted to do it in the NHS’s name.
    Corruption costing millions.

    • I trust Boris Johnson, Dido Harding who did a sterling job at Talk Talk & Mike Coupe who oversaw the Sainsbury’s/Asda merger superbly implicitly & in no way is this just jobs for buddies & wives of Tory bigwigs. I mean who better to run test & trace than a grocer & a communications boss?

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