Students in masks walking on campus

Portsmouth is the first University in the country to offer this service

13 August 2020

3 min read

In partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Portsmouth City Council, the University of Portsmouth will be offering COVID-19 testing for staff, students and our local community through the NHS Test and Trace scheme. 

Portsmouth is the first University in the country to partner with the DHSC to offer this service.

A pilot started on 13 August in the car park of the University’s Eldon building where a local testing facility has been installed. The full service will be offered more broadly from October. 

Same-day, timed appointments will be available through the government’s national booking portal. A walk-in service is also available. This testing is being provided in addition to NHS testing provision already available in the city.

The tests at the Eldon car park facility are self administered as there are no clinical staff to take the throat and nose swabs. If someone cannot take a swab themselves due to a physical impairment then other options are available through the national booking portal

Face coverings at this facility are mandatory, with no exceptions except for babies and toddlers. If someone is medically exempt from wearing a face covering other options are available through the national booking portal. Children can be tested but would need to have a parent/guardian to take the swabs.

Anyone receiving a positive test will automatically enter the NHS track and trace process and will be contacted by the NHS.

Anyone displaying covid symptoms or feeling unwell are encouraged to use the facility and be tested.  

The University is putting in place a number of measures to support social distancing and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in line with government and expert guidance. These measures include carrying out temperature scanning in a number of locations around the campus and the expectation that students and staff wear a face covering inside all University buildings. There will be hand sanitiser points and enhanced cleaning in University buildings, and one-ways systems are being implemented as buildings re-open. We ask everyone to follow the guidance to help keep the whole University community safe.

The option to be tested adds another level of reassurance that we are doing all we reasonably can to provide a safe environment for our students, staff and our community.

Eldon car park testing site