The UK Government has opened a new walkthrough Covid-19 testing facility at the Royal Mint’s Visitor Centre Car Park to make testing more accessible to local communities.

Based at Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf, the new site is being operated in partnership with Mitie.

It will offer testing to those with Covid-19 symptoms with appointments made available each day. It will also offer self-administered tests.

The new facility is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities set up in the UK that process a total of 700,000 tests each day.

The network has more than 800 sites across the country, including ten drive-through sites, 20 walkthrough sites, 22 mobile units, and the Newport Lighthouse Lab in Wales.

Before setting up the new testing centre, the Royal Mint converted its visitor centre into an emergency production line in March, producing 1.9 million medical visors for the NHS.

Commenting on the development, Welsh secretary Simon Hart said: “The network of testing centres set up across the length and breadth of Wales by the UK Government and its partners is truly impressive.

“Along with the rollout of vaccines, easily accessible testing is vital as we continue to combat the virus. Walkthrough centres, like the one in Llantrisant, are crucial in this effort.”

Last November, the Lighthouse Lab in Charnwood, Loughborough, UK, initiated Covid-19 testing sample processing, using PerkinElmer solutions as part of its partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Mitie chief government and strategy officer Simon Venn said: “Our priority during the pandemic is to support 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.”