SOUTHAMPTON residents have been flocking to recently opened covid testing centres.

People queued for up to an “hour and a half” to get tested for coronavirus at a walk-through centre on Thursday.

Some have reported having to wait six hours to get a pre-booked slot.

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There are now two sites open in Southampton.

One at Woodley Road car park in Woolston and another at the Malborough Road car park in Shirley.

Alex Melhuish, 32, told the Daily Echo at the site in Shirley he was a little bit worried about a cough.

The HR worker said: “I just wanted to rule it [covid] out”.

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He added that he liked the idea of a walk-through centre as it’s “easier and more accessible”.

Daniela Musunea, a support worker also complained of having a cough, however, “feels ok”.

The 49-year-old said she “wants to know” so she can return work.

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Meanwhile, Kirsty Nugent had been urged to book an appointment by her doctor after son Theo came down with a cough. The 34-year-old support worker with three other children at home has had to self-isolate and take her children out of school as a precaution, she says.

She added: "It took six hours to get an appointment."

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Both Southampton sites are being run 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.

Appointments will be available to anyone with symptoms seven days a week between 8am and 8pm, subject to capacity. However, people must book ahead via the NHS website or by calling 119.

According to the council, the sites at Shirley and Woolston will not be accepting people that turn up without an appointment.

Cabinet Member for Health and Care at SCC, Councillor Lorna Fielker, said: “We are aware of the national issues with the testing programme due to capacity and high demand.

“This is not within our control locally. In Southampton we are making sure that we do our part by securing suitable sites for walk-through testing sites for the winter period.

"It is important people do not turn up at any of these sites without a booking. Residents have been doing a fantastic job following guidance really difficult circumstances.

"This can change very quickly however and I urge anyone that has symptoms to make sure they isolate.”