A SOUTHAMPTON car park has been turned into a Covid-19 testing centre.

Civic chiefs have closed  Marlborough Road Car Park (South) in Shirley to turn the area into a new walk-through Covid-19 testing site which has opened today.

Meanwhile, the nearby Marlborough Road North Car Park will remain open.

But the pay and display at the site will be temporarily suspended, according to Southampton City Council.

In a statement the authority said: "We will monitor how this is working and keep management of the car park under review. The car park will remain closed while the testing sites are needed. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you."

Appointments for the local testing site will be available to anyone with coronavirus symptoms seven days a week 8am – 8pm.

The sites are operating on an appointment basis and have detailed operating procedures signed off by Public Health England for health and safety, the council said.  The city council also said it is in "active discussions" to secure further walk-through testing sites in locations that serve the east and centre of Southampton.

The site is being operated by Mitie on behalf of the Department for Health and Social Care as part of the Government’s UK-wide drive to increase testing for coronavirus.

The council said tests should be booked or ordered as soon as symptoms begin at nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

Results should be expected the next day.