TWO new community centres handing out free covid-19 test kits will open in Ellesmere Port and Chester next week.

They will open on Tuesday, May 4, near Chester Retail Park and the other at Ellesmere Port Library.

The community collect service offers free packs of covid-19 test kits for residents to do at home as part of the Government recommendation that we all test twice a week regardless of whether we have been vaccinated or not.

One in three people with covid-19 do not show any symptoms so these twice-weekly tests, known as Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) are aimed at people without symptoms, to help stop people from spreading it unwittingly.

The Chester facility is at Dee View Hub, Europa Court, Dee View Boulevard, off Bumpers Lane, CH1 4NP. It will be open from 3pm to 7pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to noon on Saturdays.

The Ellesmere Port centre is at Ellesmere Port Library, in Civic Way, open during normal library opening hours.

Both of these sites have parking available nearby.

Since asymptomatic testing began in Cheshire West and Chester in December, LFTs have identified more than 500 positive cases that would not otherwise have been found.

Free test kits are now available to all to help stop the spread of Coronavirus and can be accessed in a number of ways:

• A new 'Pharmacy Collect' service enabling people aged over 18 without symptoms to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect tests to use twice a week at home – find your nearest participating pharmacy by visiting:

• Community testing at an LFT testing centre in the borough – including Winsford, Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre in Ellesmere Port and at Chester Cathedral.

• Picking up home testing kits at one of the community testing centres above, the new facilities at Chester Retail Park and Ellesmere Port library or at libraries, including Northwich, Neston, Frodsham and the mobile library van at Tarporley, Tattenhall, Malpas and Tarvin.

• Collecting home testing kits at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows – sites in the borough include Little Roodee and Sealand Road Park and Ride in Chester, Wellington Road in Ellesmere Port, the car park at Winsford Lifestyle Centre and Leicester Street in Northwich.

• Workplace testing programmes, if offered, on-site or at home.

• Testing provided by schools and colleges.

• A home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home – visit and click on the 'testing and self-isolating' section.

Ian Ashworth, director of public health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "It couldn’t be easier to pick up a test kit and the new collection points at Chester and Ellesmere Port are welcome additions to the many places that kits are available. Test kits are easy to use and everyone should be testing themselves twice a week regardless of whether they have had a vaccine or not.

"Vaccines, regular testing, hands, face space and fresh air are vital to help us control this disease and and return safely to the things we have missed.”

For full information about testing options available in Cheshire West and Chester and opening hours visit: and click on COVID-19 testing.