MOT Test centre in Belfast converted to test centre for Covid-19

Medical staff demonstrate how they take samples at an MOT testing centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Picture: Medical staff demonstrate how they take samples at an MOT testing centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is being used as a drive through testing location for Covid-19, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Justin Kernoghan/PA Images

Some MOT Test centres in Belfast, Northern Ireland, have been converted to drive-through test centres for health care workers in the region.

Health minister Robin Swann is quoted as saying that the “rapid expansion” of testing for Covid-19 is a “key priority” for his department.

According to the NI Public Health Agency, the number of confirmed cases in the region is 1,255.

The quote continues: “We know that many members of the healthcare workforce who are currently undertaking home isolation are keen to return to work as soon as possible to support colleagues at this critical time,”

And “I understand that it has been a frustrating and worrying time for those staff who have displayed symptoms of Covid-19, or those whose family members have symptoms.

“The rapid expansion of testing capacity has been a key priority and we have been working with the Public Health Agency and HSC Trust colleagues to significantly increase the number of healthcare workers who can access testing for Covid-19.”

As in Great Britain, vehicles due for MOT Test in Northern Ireland have been given a six-month deferment.

Could this happen in Great Britain?

We have contacted DVSA to see if a similar virus testing system could be adopted in mainland Britain using MOT Testing Stations monitored by the DVSA, but nobody was available to comment.

However even if it were attempted, not all Testing Testing stations would have suitable premises, and there could be significant logistical difficulties. 

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