Asymptomatic covid test centre at Ramsgate Port to close

Testing at Ramsgate Port Photo Karen Constantine

The asymptomatic testing centre at  Ramsgate Port’s terminal building will close on Sunday, April 18.

People who want to book a test are being encouraged to use the sites at Birchington and The Guildhall in Sandwich instead. The Centre in Alpha Road, Birchington will be extending opening hours from 9am to 7pm.

Latera Flow tests can be picked up from the covid test sites at Manston and Margate. Two boxes per person, seven tests per box, Opening hours are 2.30pm-8pm.

Kent’s Director for Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, has urged everyone in the county to get a symptom free test twice a week. This week Government also announced new clinical guidance that advises everyone in England should now access free, regular, rapid, twice-weekly COVID-19 testing from April 9.

Andrew Scott-Clark

Mr Scott-Clark said: “Twice-weekly testing is a vital part of Kent’s route out of lockdown. The rapid tests give us an accurate picture of virus rates in communities and will play a huge part in helping us to continue to drive down the number of infections and therefore save lives.

“ We cannot be complacent. People are still being infected with COVID-19 and if everyone who is eligible is tested regularly then it will help us continue to minimise the spread of the virus.”

If you are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms – high temperature, a new or continuous cough, a loss or change in taste or smell – you should not visit a symptomless testing site and continue to self-isolate.

You can book a test by visiting the website or by calling 119

The positive test rate per 100,000 people in Thanet was 28.9 as of April 3, below the UK rate of 37.3.

Everyone to have access to twice weekly rapid testing for covid


  1. Get tested twice a week but close the test centre. How does this make sense?

    Where are people supposed to get their supply of tests from? Online services say it isn’t available for ordinary folk.

    Meanwhile, there’s still no news on the under 50s roll out of vaccine.

    • Covid tests, laterel flow device home tests are available from local test centres, as well as pcr tests for those who may have symptoms.

      • Do you mean to say I’ll only be goingiven to The Centre in Birchington to pick up the test but not have a swab taken in my mouth and nostrils terephthalate and then? As I have an appointment tomorrow morning 09:00@ and I live in Ramsgate! ?

  2. That is ridiculous in my view.
    Ramsgate has lots of parking.
    ? Pay for parking at Birchington and Sandwich

    • Sandwich has free parking in the coop car park for one hour everyday and on Sunday’s the guildhall car park is free too !

  3. I agree Linda. Ask us to test more, then close the test site of the largest town in Thanet. I won’t be bothered trooping over to Birchington and I’m not queuing for hours to collect home tests from a pharmacy and online ordering for home tests isn’t available for the ordinary folks.

    Closed jab site, closed test site. Ramsgate loses.

  4. Why? Why? Why?
    Something that was close by, easy to use, easy to park. Now I will have to drive across the island, add to pollution and probably have a way to walk and pay for parking. Ramsgate Port was too easy, wasn’t it? Isn’t it always the way?

    • I absolutely agree.
      Obviously not expecting much of an uptake if closing Ramsgate.
      Just at same time as we are being asked to be tested twice a week!
      Doesnt make sense at all.

  5. Kent’s Director for Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, has urged everyone in the county to get a symptom free test twice a week.

    I know that’s close the one at ramsgate, the one for ramsgate with easy parking.

    Well I wont be getting tested twice a week, to busy working to be going over to birchington or sandwich, absolute madness closing it.

  6. Whose logic is this? They’d have been better off closing the Sandwich and Birchington Test Centres, as the Port Ramsgate Test Centre has loads of space and free parking.

  7. Whilst i agree its not brilliant, dont forget that schools and colleges are handing out self test kits to staff and students plus you will be able to order lateral flow kits to self test at home which are easy to use.

  8. Ridiculous!!! Who’s hair brained scheme is this. I have been tested every 2 weeks since this started in Ramsgate. If I have to go to Sandwich or Birchington it won’t be happening. I could park easily and freely in Ramsgate but won’t be paying to keep the parking coffers of Birchington & Sandwich. I’m sorry, it if very sad that they should be putting people off getting tested just as we’re getting to grips with this virus. It’s heartbreaking.

  9. I’m not surprised it’s closing. Hardly anyone is using it.
    According to the Government web site, you can get a free supply of test kits:
    “Getting a rapid test

    Getting a rapid test is quick and convenient. Over 100,000 businesses in England have registered their interest to provide rapid tests to their employees, and the offer of free testing is being expanded to companies with over 10 workers where on-site testing is impossible. The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

    a home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home
    workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
    community testing, offered by all local authorities
    collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows
    testing on-site at schools and colleges

    A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing.”

  10. Hahaha ask everyone to have two tests a week and close testing centres. The same bounce about daddy long legs approach to the pandemic the Tories have adopted since day one. Stupid is as Tories do.

  11. Port Ramsgate testing was brilliant , sorry to see it go . But infections are well down now. Sandwich test centre are doing Walk In tests so no appointments necessary ! Free parking in coop car park too !

  12. I tried ordering tests to be delivered at home, the website says it’s not for ordinary folks. I’m not queuing up to collect these from any shop, I have spent a whole year queuing.

    The test site worked brilliantly and if a site is to close, why close the one with the best parking and the biggest population?

    As ever, Ramsgate is the poor relation so it seems.

  13. Everyone getting vaccinations should be getting a free test too!. I have used this centre in Ransgate a few times, never been busy, free parking was a useful aspect, not going to Sandwich and refuse to go where motorists are unwelcome with chargeable parking.

  14. I have been using this test center when it first opened. I am a teacher of vunrable children and have had to work during the lockdown. Testing was available toe but at another school. Ramsgate was useful on the way home from work. Recently Ramsgate has not been busy but at crucial times it was! When all children needed to return back to school when home testing was being set up. My concern is as we gradually open up so will the virus. With new variants and travel we will need as much testing as possible. I have home testing kits now but always good to have a backup. The staff at Ramsgate were very good. How long would it take to train new staff if we need it again?

  15. The country getting fitter , healthier, eating better would save far more lives , but as that would need a bit of effort it won’t happen. So instead the gov. is attempting to achieve zero covid, which will never happen.
    Surely people can see that having a test to see if you happen to have the virus is daft, the centres were only in place to try and find enough cases to drive the anti covid measures. Now that there is a need to show that the vaccines are incredibly successful there’s no need to conjure up more cases.
    In the years to come it will be shown that we had such a terrible toll because as a nation we’d let our health and fitness deteriorate to such annextent that we were an easy target for covid. Plus the inability to understand risk and statistics along with a willingness to have the state pay for so many to do so little has led us to where we are today.
    A nation content to gorge on junk food doing little more than stare at screens all day has been shown the error of its ways. To protect these people resources that should have been wholly directed at the vulnerable were stretched too thin and so failed.
    In years to come we’ll have to deal with all the postponed treatments and operations and the conditions diagnosed far later than they would have been.
    We’ll be expected , to have covid “passports” , the flu jab will morph into the likely annual covid jabs , as with all such diseases there will be endless variations so we’ll have good and bad periods of covid as the years progress.
    Everyone needs to get a sensible BMI , get fitter ( even a sensible bmi can be someone with disproportionate amounts of fat and little muscle due to inactivity) a better diet etc etc
    The states job is to look after those that genuinely can’t help themselves not pander to those who just can’t be bothered.
    But we have so many people who just can’t be bothered that we’ll just get endless wittering about the failures of the state, they should look in the mirror and consider where failure truly lies.

    • Isn’t it curious that covid has affected *every* nation on Earth, irrespective of political inclination?
      Isn’t it curious that the prevalence of infection of infection and death has little to do with whether a government is a democracy or a republic?
      CV has affected people of all sorts of fitness levels. Having a good diet is not going to stop you from catching, and spreading, CV. It’s not going to help you with Long Covid.
      Vaccination will. Social distancing (until most of are vaccinated) will.
      If you are dissatisfied with th situation in the UK, I’d recommend that you move. Not to New Zealand (that hot bed of repression, with its mandatory testing and quarantining) but somewhere like Brazil, where the President’s understanding of this lethal pandemic seems to chime with yours.

      • And even more curious that an 1st world nation suffered so much. It was obvious from early on that excess weight was an issue, that when picures of those that perished were often cherry picked to show them at their best just helped compound the illusions.
        That covid will still affect people is not in doubt but the effects on the unhealthy are far greater , hence the reason underlying conditions are very common in those that died. As a rule be slimmer and fitter and the effects of the virus will be far less serious.
        Brazil is a country with many larger people , it has low income levels and a pretty poor health system. Same with Mexico.
        The UK has such a problem with excess weight that its become something that can’t be discussed because the numbers affected get all uppity about it.
        If someone wants to consume bargain buckets of saturated fat, washed down with energy drink, whilst sat staring at their phone all day, good luck to them but expecting society to bankrupt itself to protect them is hipocritical in the extreme if they complain about the states or others actions regarding covid.
        A close relative needed both hips replaced , it took nearly 5 years of endlessly cancelled appointments /operations and each time they were in hospital finally having had one done , they were in wards of beached whales that were taking up beds for months on end in some cases.
        Something needs to be done , but i doubt it will. Purely my opinion you don’t have to even read it let alone agree.
        The current debate about vaccinations and blood clots, for a fit healthy person the chance of dieing from covid is even rarer than the chance of dieing from the clot. So is it any surprise that doubt is expressed?

        • For example: “because as a nation we’d let our health and fitness deteriorate to such annextent that we were an easy target for covid. Plus the inability to understand risk and statistics along with a willingness to have the state pay for so many to do so little has led us to where we are today.”

  16. I thought the reason coronavirus spread to Britain was the government’s failure (starting in March 2020) to close our borders and, when they were reopened, to impose strict quarantine on arrivals into Britain.

    • Covid was already here , the nature of the uks position in terms of geography and as a transport hub along with freight and trade meant that a New Zealand type border closure was impossible, just the numbers of UK residents returning from overseas would have been enough to cause issues.
      Plus hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      • Humans have had warnings! Mad cows, swine flu, bird flu now Covid. Next climate change. The best thing you can do for your health and the planet is to give up eating meat and stop using animals as products just because it’s in our culture. I hope in years to come if we are still around we can look back and see how primitive we were.

  17. This is just madness…so we have a brilliant site open in lockdown (I have been using it if I was meeting my Dad (my bubble) as I always wanted to be sure) But now they are closing it when it’s going to be really key in controlling the virus in Thanet as we open up. I am a small business owner opening tomorrow 12th, yes I have anxiety.. So now I open my shop , start being exposed to others (along with other businesses opening tomorrow) & for me I would more than ever before want to use this site to get tested every 2 weeks. I am so annoyed about this.

  18. I agree with last post absolutely.
    It is the ease of using Ramsgate Port I will miss.
    I am still angry about closure
    I went to Boots pharmacy and was given a box of 7 tests to do at home.
    Guess thats how it is

  19. Just read the posts from LC you are a self centred individual. One day you will be vulnerable..

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