THE regional COVID-19 testing centre is to be moved to Southampton Airport by the end of September.

The centre is currently based at Tipner car park in Portsmouth.

An exact date for the move is yet to be confirmed.

People who will want to get tested will have to book an appointment online before attending the site.

The centre at Southampton Airport will serve residents from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The news was announced by Simon Bryant, director of public health at Hampshire County Council during a meeting of the Hampshire Local Outbreak Engagement Board this afternoon.

After the meeting Mr Bryant said: "The regional test site for the wider Hampshire and Isle of Wight area will be moving from its current location at Tipner in Portsmouth, to Southampton Airport at the end of September.  

"This move has been planned for some time and means that the current site at Tipner can be used for other purposes. This includes the plan to manage traffic around Portsmouth International Port following the transition period between the UK and EU. As with Tipner, the site at Southampton Airport will be for appointment-only testing. Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus can book a test, either online or by calling 119.”

The county council said that the Portsmouth walk-through COVID-19 testing clinic remains in place.

Cllr Lorna Fielker, cabinet member for health at Southampton City Council, said: "It's really interesting to hear that there are changes to the places where people can access testing within Hampshire. I look forward to hear that this would lead to a greater increase in capacity."

The news comes as two car parks, one in Woolston and one in Shirley in Southampton, have been turned into a Covid-19 testing centre.

Southampton Airport has been approached for comment.