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New community test centres for people without COVID 19 symptoms rolled out in Edinburgh

Posted: 22nd April 2021

Rapid coronavirus (COVID 19) testing is now available for people without symptoms in the Craigmillar area of Edinburgh as the Capital’s first Asymptomatic Testing Centre goes live.

The community testing initiative, in partnership with the Scottish Government, aims to drive down local COVID 19 rates and transmission by identifying positive cases more quickly, as people can spread the virus to others before symptoms appear.

Residents who do not have any of the three COVID symptoms (a new continuous cough, temperature, loss or change in sense of taste or smell) are encouraged to get tested.

There is no need to book and testing is available from Craigmillar Library from today, 21 April, until Sunday 2 May 2021 inclusive. The ATC will be open daily from 9am to 6pm.

This site is only for people without symptoms. Anyone with COVID 19 symptoms should self-isolate and book a test
in the usual way via or by calling 0800 028 2816.

Residents will be tested using lateral flow devices (LFDs), which can give people their results in around 45 minutes. Any positive cases will then be confirmed by PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test.

Anyone who receives a positive LFD or PCR test result will be asked to self isolate. Dedicated support is available to anyone who needs to self isolate, including food packages and financial support.

Further advice and information on what support is available for people who need to self isolate is available from / 

Council Leader Adam McVey said:

Things are definitely moving in the right direction now that we’re in a position to unlock gradually, but there’s absolutely no room for complacency – we need to keep on top of case numbers and make sure any localised outbreaks are minimised as much as possible. It’s really important we give people in areas where cases are higher the chance to come forward for a test even when they don’t have any symptoms. That way we can monitor and help check the spread of the virus in our communities. 

Edinburgh citizens have gone above and beyond to help us tackle the pandemic by following public health guidance. These new ATCs will help us make even more progress in reducing the spread of this dreadful virus.

Centres will be rolled out in targeted areas across Edinburgh in response to public health data over the coming months. The next centre is due to open in Wester Hailes Library from 3 – 9 May and future locations will be publicised as soon as they’re confirmed.

Depute Council Leader Cammy Day said: 

Recent research has shown that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases can contribute to more than 40% of Covid19 transmission. it’s quick and easy to get tested – these Lateral Flow swab tests don’t need to be sent to a lab for analysis and the results are available within an hour.

We want as many local people as possible in the Craigmillar area to come forward for a test if they’re not displaying symptoms of the virus, to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe. If we can keep case numbers low in the city as a whole, we’ll all see the benefit as things begin to open up again in a Covid-safe way. 

Trish Lindsay, who lives in the local area, was one of the first people to come forward for a test at the new ATC in Craigmillar Library. She said:

I’d never thought about coming for an asymptomatic test before but, when the centre opened, I thought that I would come along for one. As we’ve heard on lots of news reports, there are so many people that are asymptomatic, so the more people that can come along and get tested, the faster we’ll eventually get rid of this pandemic.

Katie Dee, Interim Director of Public Health, NHS Lothian, said:

We are aware that COVID-19 is often spread by people who don’t have symptoms or they have symptoms that are so subtle they do not recognise the infection.

Asymptomatic testing enables us to identify the infection so that people are not spreading the infection to their families, colleagues and the wider community. It will also allow us to better understand the rate of infection in people who are not showing signs of COVID-19.

The centres will also give advice about support for isolation for people with a positive test. By participating in asymptomatic testing, you will help reduce the overall spread of COVID-19.


Anyone with the symptoms of COVID 19 a new continuous cough, temperature, loss or change in sense of taste or smell should go online to to book a test or call 0800 028 2816 if you cannot get online.

How to self isolate effectively Information and support for people who are asked to self isolate because of COVID 19

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland:

F Face coverings
A Avoid crowded places
C Clean your hands regularly
T Two metres distance
S Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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