24 Jun 2020

Anyone over the age of five who is showing symptoms of coronavirus - continuous cough, high temperature, and a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste - can now apply online to get tested at a mobile testing unit at the former Eccleston Park golf course car park in Rainhill from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 June.

The mobile testing unit will operate by appointment only; anyone who attempts to turn up at the testing facility without an appointment will be turned away. This is a drive through, self-testing centre and people will need to drive in their own vehicle or via a vehicle driven by someone in their household.

 Those showing symptoms of coronavirus can apply for a test through the NHS website. Essential workers, and members of their household can apply for priority testing through GOV.UK.

 Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Libraries, Arts and Heritage at St Helens Borough Council, said: “This mobile testing unit is a good example of how partners across health and care are working together locally to respond to Covid-19. It is so important to be able to offer testing for the virus close to home for essential workers in the St Helens area who are doing so much for us all, helping them to continue to support our local response to coronavirus. By increasing testing locally, we hope to identify those most at risk from coronavirus and take the next steps to defeating the virus”.

Sue Forster, Director of Public Health in St Helens, said: "We know that this situation is a difficult time for people. Through testing we can understand more about the scale of this situation and how the virus is behaving, which will help us to bring normal life back again.

"Mobile testing sites help us to prioritise, by adding additional capacity for a short time where it will have the most benefit.”

 A time slot and the location of the mobile unit will be provided upon booking. Instructions on how to take the test and how and when people they will receive their results will be provided when taking the test. People without a booking will be turned away - without exception.


Mobile testing units (MTUs) are an initiative from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and operated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). They are an important intervention to stop the spread of Covid-19, travelling around the UK, responding to need, and increasing access to anyone over the age of 5 who is showing symptoms of coronavirus.

In line with all other MTU deployments, this is a drive through site operating strictly by appointment only.   People being tested will remain in their vehicles and the whole operation adheres to strict infection and prevention control to ensure there is no contact with any residents of the area. The unit will be sited as far as possible away from the residential area and the site will be signposted with Army officers stationed at all entrances and exits to the facility to ensure that there is strict adherence to all rules and nothing is left overnight on-site.