A mobile COVID-19 testing unit is coming to New Cumnock this weekend where residents showing symptoms of the virus can book a test.

It will be in place from Saturday, January 16 until Sunday, January 17.

Those with symptoms of coronavirus can book in for the travelling COVID test facility, which will be located in the town square.

This temporary facility will allow people who have COVID-19 symptoms to get a free swab test as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for communities. 

It comes as increases of coronavirus have been recorded in East Ayrshire, with cases in the region topping 400 a week.

In New Cumnock there were eight people who tested positive in the neighbourhood from January 2-8. 

Tests must be booked in advance at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or by calling 0800 028 2816.

The booking portal for the New Cumnock site will open from 6.00pm on Friday, January 15.

Council officials said: "If you're coming to be tested, you will be required to follow public health measures including physical distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practicing good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout (including travelling to and from the mobile testing sites).

"You should only book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).

"If you have any of these symptoms you must self-isolate immediately, only leaving home to take a test. You should continue to self-isolate until you have received your result.

"If you're attending the mobile testing centre, you'll be asked to confirm your identity on arrival.

"You will then be issued with a test kit and directed to a testing booth, where you will be given guidance to help you do the swab test yourself by taking swabs from both the nose and mouth. 

"The swab test takes less than a minute and is relatively pain-free. After safely completing the test, a testing assistant will advise you on how to register your test online or by phone, and then how to exit the centre. You should receive your result the next day.

"If you test positive you will be contacted by NHS Scotland tracers. They will let you know how long you and your household should self-isolate for and help you identify who you have been in contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

"Your close contacts will also hear from contact tracers, asking them to stay at home for 10 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will also be advised to book a test if they develop symptoms.

"Testing is free, quick and vital to stopping the spread of coronavirus. It's available for all ages and groups, including vulnerable groups and people with disabilities. 

"Anyone attending an appointment at a mobile testing centre will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the site safely, including the measures listed above. The approach has been agreed with expert clinical oversight."