News

Fire station testing expansion complete

Published: 26 Feb 2021 11:00

Access to testing available from all 21 stations ahead of schedule.

Six more fire stations across Highland and Argyll & Bute will provide local access to coronavirus (COVID-19) tests from next Tuesday 2 March.

The stations are the remainder of the 21 announced by Public Health Minister Mairi Gougeon earlier this month to provide more convenient access to testing in remote and rural areas. All will have become operational ahead of the mid-March timeframe originally set.

In partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), people who have COVID-19 symptoms and are within walking or driving distance will be able to access a test from the following stations:

  • Ullapool         Small scale test site
  • Portree          Small scale test site
  • Broadford      Small scale test site
  • Fort William   Small scale test site
  • Lochcarron    Pick-up only test site
  • Rothesay       Small scale test site

Coastguard staff will also help to deliver testing at Portree and Fort William.

Tests can be booked from Monday 1 March by calling NHS Highland on 01463 706015.

Testing will be offered on-site at some locations, as well as offering pick-up tests. Instructions will be supplied with the pick-up test kits, which can then be returned the same day using a nearby priority post box.

Earlier this month Public Health Minister Mairi Gougeon announced that access to COVID-19 testing would be expanded to 21 fire stations in remote and rural areas of Scotland by mid-March, following the success of trials in Thurso and Lochgilphead.

Ms Gougeon said:

ā€œIā€™m very pleased to confirm that from next week, all 21 stations will be providing access to testing ahead of the schedule we originally set. I want to again thank all the SFRS, Argyll and Bute Council, Highland Council, NHS Highland, and Coastguard staff involved for their support to make this happen.

"The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring people with COVID-19 symptoms can easily access a test no matter where they are in the country, and we will continue to work with the UK Government and local partners to improve access to COVID testing in remote and rural areas.ā€

Assistant Chief Officer Stuart Stevens, Director of Service Delivery for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said:

"We are pleased that the success of the initial trial in Thurso and Lochgilphead now means that many more fire stations can assist rural communities to access COVID-19 tests closer to home.

"Our staff have shown a real commitment to providing this service, whilst maintaining a capability to respond to emergencies, and I want to personally thank them for their ongoing efforts.

"We will continue to support the Scottish Government, our partners and communities wherever possible through this pandemic.ā€

Background:

Testing in these areas can be arranged or picked up in these areas by calling NHS Highland on 01463 706015.

Local authority area

Location

Test site type

Start date

Highland

Ullapool

Small scale test site

From 2 March

Highland

Portree

Small scale test site

From 2 March

Highland

Broadford

Small scale test site

From 2 March

Highland

Fort William

Small scale test site

From 2 March

Highland

Lochcarron

Pick-up only test site

From 2 March

Argyll & Bute

Rothesay

Small scale test site

From 2 March

Highland

Thurso

Small scale test site

Operational

Argyll & Bute

Lochgilphead

Small scale test site

Operational

Argyll & Bute

Dunoon

Small scale test site

Operational

Argyll & Bute

Campbeltown

Small scale test site

Operational

Highland

Kingussie

Pick-up only test site

Operational

Highland

Fort Augustus

Pick-up only test site

Operational

Highland

Gairloch

Pick-up only test site

Operational

Highland

Lairg

Pick-up only test site

Operational

Argyll & Bute

Cove (Loch Long)

Small scale test site

Operational

Argyll & Bute

Arrochar

Pick-up only test site

Operational

Argyll & Bute

Tarbert (Loch Fyne)

Small scale test site

Operational

Highland

Dornoch

Small scale test site

Operational

Highland

Granton-on-Spey

Small scale test site

Operational

Highland

Acharacle

Pick-up only test site

Operational

Highland

Tongue

Pick-up only test site

Operational