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Revealed: how much has city council spent on Covid testing centres?

Setting up and running Covid-19 testing centres cost the local authority more than £450,000 between April 2020 and May 2021. 
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Local authority testing centres include mobile van pop-up sites, like this one in Cathedral Square

Following a Freedom of Information request to Peterborough City Council, it has been revealed that £456,444 had been spent establishing and running some of Peterborough’s Covid testing centres, including pop-ups and surge testing events. 

This does not include testing centres set up directly by the UK government, including sites like the East of England Showground. 

The centres managed by the council are predominantly based in churches, community centres and mobile van pop-up sites in central locations like Cathedral Square.

Most of these sites have been set up to offer tests to people without symptoms – those with Covid-19 symptoms are encouraged to book a test via the government's website.

In the 2020/21 financial year, £299,923.61 was spent on testing centres by the council.

And in April and May a further £156,521 was allocated to this purpose. 

A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “All of our testing sites are funded by government grants that were given to the LA either specifically for testing or for Covid response.” 

Regular testing forms part of the collective plea from leaders of public sector organisations to #DoTheRightThing by following measures that can reduce virus transmission. 

The measures, backed by the director of public health for Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City councils, as well as leaders from Cambridgeshire Constabulary, the East of England Ambulance Service, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, include: 

  • Saying yes to both doses of the vaccine - with all adults now eligible and people able to have their second dose eight weeks after the first. 
  • Taking a rapid test twice a week to identify the one in three people with Covid without symptoms. 
  • Taking a test and self-isolating if you have symptoms of Covid-19. 
  • Reducing unnecessary contact with others indoors. 
  • Meeting people outdoors or in well-ventilated places if possible. 
  • Wearing a mask in crowded places – or where you can’t keep a distance. 
  • Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.