THE Covid-19 PCR testing site in Ludlow is closing to allow the car park to return to its former use.

Following consultation with local Shropshire Councillors and Ludlow Town Council, it was agreed that the facility would be removed from Smithfield car park as it is now needed for car parking purposes.

It will be replaced by a mobile testing unit (MTU) located at Ludlow Eco Park.

In the meantime, anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive was asked to book a PCR test via the Government’s website or by calling 119, and they will be directed to the nearest site with availability.

“The decision has been made to close the current site in Ludlow and move to a more mobile approach,” said Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health.

“With the MTU it gives us the option to move to other towns in south Shropshire if needed.

“Having spoken with local Shropshire Councillors and the town council, it was felt that now the third lockdown is easing and businesses have reopened, the car park is very much an important part of the recovery of the town and encouraging tourism again.

“If you do need to book a PCR test you will be guided to the nearest location with availability, until the MTU is up and running.”

Testing has been a major part in the drive to contain Covid-19 and in the time before the availability of the vaccinations it was at the heart of the public health drive.

Enabling people to test and if they had the virus then to self-isolate was a vital way of putting a brake on the transmission of the disease.

The centre in Ludlow opened at the beginning of the year and provided a facility for the town and south Shropshire.

However, the number of cases has declined and the majority of people designated as at risk will by now have had two doses of one of the vaccines, either the Pfizer or Astra Zeneca or so called 'Oxford vaccine.'