Coronavirus testing centre in Harold Hill to open this weekend

People queue up outside a walk through coronavirus testing centre. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

People queue up outside a walk through coronavirus testing centre. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Havering Council has confirmed that a walk-through coronavirus testing centre in Harold Hill will open tomorrow (September 19).

The centre is called Dagnam Park Drive and will be on the multi-use sports pitches behind Central Park Leisure Centre.

A council spokesperson said people must enter through a pedestrian entrance on Dagnam Park Drive and there will be no access from the Central Park Leisure Centre car park.

The announcement comes despite the council informing the Recorder earlier this week that a testing centre in Harold Hill was agreed in principle for a different site.

Coronavirus numbers in the borough are on the rise - there were 81 positive cases in the borough in the week ending September 11, which was more than double the figure from two weeks previously.

Another walk-through site launched at Cherry Tree Lane car park, off Rainham Road, South Hornchurch last week. That centre is open every day between 8am and 8pm.

A council spokesperson said: “Testing is only available for those who have booked an appointment, please do not turn up to a test site without one.

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“The Harold Hill and South Hornchurch testing centres are walk-through sites and should not be reached by car (there is no parking facility at these sites) and nor should residents be taking public transport to reach these sites.

“Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the testing centre).

“If you show up without an appointment you are likely to be turned away.

“You should attend at the time your appointment is booked for and return home immediately afterwards. You must then remain in isolation until the result is known.”

The spokesperson admitted that residents “may experience difficulty in securing a test”, adding: “The council is aware of the problems with the national testing system which is currently restricting testing capacity and booking appointments.”

The Recorder reported issues such as lengthy queues at the South Hornchurch centre on Monday morning (September 14).

The spokesperson said: “If you are unable to book a test, or are offered a location or time which is not convenient, you are advised to try again a few hours later or the next day. More tests are made available throughout the day.

“The council continues to support Serco and Deloitte in the setup and running of new testing centres to ensure minimal disruption to local residents and businesses.”

Testing will also be available in the car park at the rear of Havering Town Hall in Romford between 10.30am and 3.30pm on September 20, 21, 27 and 30.

This site can be accessed by car and vehicles and pedestrians should enter via Park End Road. where a one-way drive and walk through system will be in place. People should not enter from Main Road.

Anyone who has coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to sense or taste – may get a test or those who have been asked to by a doctor, public health professional or the council.

To book a test, go to or call 119.