WORCESTERSHIRE County Council is opening a small drive-through test site for essential workers on the front line.

GPs, healthcare and social care workers, school staff and those working directly with children, police and fire crews are eligible to access the testing.

There remains very limited community testing capacity across the UK and the county.

This means frontline essential workers are currently struggling to be tested if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19. This could potentially impact the provision of health, care and other essential services.

The new test site will provide access to workers who are vital in keeping these essential services running.

Around 50 tests a day will be available, which can be assigned according to priority and need.

Dr.Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health in Worcestershire, said: “There is a national issue with access to testing and we are seeing an impact at a local level here in Worcestershire.

"While we look to central Government to work through these national issues, locally I must prioritise those who are front line workers, the medical, teaching and care staff, along with Police officers and fire crews who we rely on to care for us and our loved ones.

"We have secured a limited number of daily tests for our frontline essential workers. Those tests will be prioritised to those front line workers most in need. I recognise this is not a long term or full solution. The test site is a temporary measure to help us support the most vital workers in our community.

"We are working with limited resources and have to make difficult decisions to ensure the tests go where they are most needed. We continue to work with our colleagues at a regional and national level to address the testing issues."

The site is not a drop-in service and is not open to the public.

Residents who are not essential frontline workers, who have Covid-19 symptoms should self-isolate, and continue to try to book a test.