New UK Government COVID testing site opens in Granton, Edinburgh


The UK Government has today, Saturday 27 February, opened a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre at Ainslie Park Leisure Centre Car Park in Granton, Edinburgh EH5 2HF.

The test centre is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history. In Scotland, this comprises 7 drive through sites, 33 walk-through sites, 42 mobile units, plus the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab which is working round the clock to process samples.

In Scotland, the UK Government is providing all COVID testing and test processing outside of the NHS. Around two thirds of all daily tests are provided by the UK Government, in support of Scotland’s health services.

Tests must be booked in advance at: or by calling 0800 028 2816. People should only book at test if they have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste).

Health Minister Lord Bethell said:

To respond to the coronavirus, we have built a major testing and tracing system from scratch. We are constantly working to expand and improve it with new technologies and innovations so everyone with symptoms can get a test.

New walk-in sites like this one makes it even easier to get a test no matter where you live. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, I urge you to book a test today and follow the advice of NHS Test and Protect if you are contacted to protect others and stop the spread of the virus.

Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said:

Walk-through sites offer communities better access to coronavirus testing, so everyone with symptoms can get a test. This new site is part of our ongoing work to expand our testing network across the UK which now has the capacity to process more than 700,000 tests a day. We will continue to expand capacity to improve test turnaround times and push forward testing innovations to make sure anyone who needs a test can get one.

Please book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms: a new continuous cough, a high temperature and a loss or change in sense of smell or taste, and follow the advice of NHS Test and Protect if you are contacted.

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart said:

The UK Government is doing everything it can to support people in all parts of the UK through the pandemic.

Testing continues to play an important role how we manage the virus alongside the roll out of vaccines, helping to identify local outbreaks, slow down the rate of transmission and protect communities. I would like to thank the public for continuing to do the right thing and come forward to be tested when they display symptoms.

The UK Government continues to provide the bulk of testing in Scotland, with this new walk-through centre in Edinburgh just the latest in our extensive network. We have also secured and paid for millions of doses of the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines for all parts of the UK.

Hope is on the horizon, but we can’t let up on our efforts to contain the virus.

Adam McVey, City of Edinburgh Council Leader said:

Our number one priority is keeping Edinburgh’s residents safe and the best way to do that is to keep encouraging everyone to follow the latest guidance and to arrange to get themselves tested if they develop any Covid-19 symptoms.

Our other testing sites across Edinburgh have been helping hundreds of people every week to get tested so it’s really welcome that this new site is opening in the north of the city. We’ll keep the use of the Ainslie Park Leisure Centre under review to ensure that when it’s possible for Edinburgh Leisure to reopen for sport and leisure use, venues can operate efficiently.

Simon Venn, Mitie Chief Government & Strategy Officer, said:

Our priority during the pandemic is to support the nation’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and help keep the country running. Testing is a critical part of the UK’s strategy to combat coronavirus and we’re proud to support the UK Government with this vital task. A big thank you to all the NHS staff, Mitie employees and other frontline heroes in Edinburgh, who are working tirelessly to keep us all safe.


Notes to Editors

  1. For further information contact the press office of the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland on 0131 244 9028.

  2. The UK Government is providing the following test facilities in Scotland:

Seven drive through testing sites:

  • Prestwick Airport
  • Glasgow Airport
  • Edinburgh Airport
  • Aberdeen Airport
  • Inverness (University of the Highlands and Islands, Inverness campus)
  • Dundee (Dudhope Castle car park)
  • Cumbernauld (Broadwood Stadium)

33 walk through centres in town and cities across Scotland:

  • St Andrews (Victory Memorial Hall)
  • Glasgow City Centre (ARC sports centre, Glasgow Caledonian University)
  • Aberdeen (Roy Strathdee building, Aberdeen University)
  • Edinburgh City Centre (Usher Hall)
  • Glasgow City Centre (Riverside Car Park)
  • West Dunbartonshire (Napier Hall)
  • Stirling (Forthside Way Development Site)
  • Dundee (Park Place Car Park)
  • Edinburgh Sighthill (Gate 55, 55 Sighthill Road)
  • Inverclyde (Crawfurdsburn Community Centre)
  • Inverness (Highland Council Headquarters Car Park)
  • Edinburgh Leith (Leith Library)
  • Perth (Thimblerow Car Park)
  • Glasgow Gorbals (St Francis Community Centre)
  • Cumbernauld (Fleming House Car Park)
  • Arbroath (Bruce House Car Park)
  • Elgin (Lossie Green Car Park)
  • East Kilbridge (Red Deer Centre)
  • Hamilton (Eddlewood Public Hall)
  • Kilmarnock (Grand Hall)
  • Oban (Mossfield Car Park)
  • Wick (Riverside Car Park)
  • Galashiels (Langlee Community Centre)
  • Dumfries (Brooms Road Car Park)
  • Paisley (Bridge Street Car Park)
  • Glenrothes (Glenrothes Miners Charitable Society)
  • Dunfermline (Dell Farquharson House)
  • Glasgow Pollock (Pollock Community Centre)
  • Glasgow Castlemilk (Barlia Football Centre)
  • Kirkcaldy (Overton Community Centre)
  • Glasgow Easterhouse (Easterhouse Social Work Office Car Park)
  • Edinburgh Niddrie (Jack Kane Leisure Centre Car Park)
  • Edinburgh Granton (Ainslie Park Leisure Centre)

The UK Government is also funding the operation of 42 mobile testing units throughout Scotland, as well as the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab (operated on our behalf by Glasgow University). This is part of a network of Lighthouse Labs across the UK mass processing covid tests.

Further information for those seeking a test:

Tests must be booked in advance at: or by calling 0800 028 2816.

People should only book at test if they have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) or have been told to seek a test by a clinician or an NHS tracer.

People traveling to and from the test centre must NOT use taxis or public transport.

People should wear a face covering while travelling to and from the test centre, and while in the centre.

Tests in this centre are self-administered. This involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat. The process is simple, only takes a few minutes, and full instructions are provided. Staff are on hand to provide additional support for vulnerable people and those with disabilities.

The centre will operate seven days a week, with appointments available from 8am to 8pm.

Anyone testing positive will be contacted by NHS Scotland tracers. They will help them identify those they have been in contact with, protecting others from further transmission. Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from contact tracers, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book at test if they develop symptoms.


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