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Council leader demands Covid-19 test site for Islington

Cllr Richard Watts says "red tape and delay" has obstructed repeated calls for a local testing site

22 September, 2020

THE Town Hall leader has called for a Covid-19 testing centre to be set up in the borough.

Cllr Richward Watts has blamed “red tape and delay” in government for obstructing repeated calls for a site to be established in Islington.

The council have offered the carpark in the Sobell Centre, Holloway, as a potential space.

Cllr Watts said: “The Government needs to urgently fix London’s testing system. Too many local people in Islington can’t get a test, are waiting too long or being sent hundreds of miles away. This is not good enough.

“Our top priority remains keeping local people safe, but to do that, we need a local testing centre – we have been calling for this for some time and have offered the car park at Sobel Leisure Centre as a site. At every turn, we have run into red tape and delay at the hands of the government.”

It is understood that one of the reasons a site was never set up in the borough is because Islington has maintained a relatively low level of positive Covid cases.

The number of daily cases reached a peak of 24 in April while in June, July and August there were several days when no new cases were reported.

A department for health and social care spokesman said: “Thousands of tests are taking place every day across dozens of testing sites in London, including in neighbouring boroughs to Islington.

“We are expanding testing capacity further bringing in new labs that can process tens of thousands more tests a day and working with councils, including Islington Council, to identify additional testing sites.”

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