The first XL-sized coronavirus test centre is being opened in Groningen at lunchtime on Monday.
The facility at Martiniplaza can handle up to 2,500 tests a day and is accessible by car, bike or on foot. Another seven facilities are being set up in cities including Amsterdam and Utrecht as well as Schiphol airport, while smaller ‘L’ facilities will be opened to cater for rural areas.
The network of testing points is designed to prevent a repeat of the bottleneck that built up as cases rose rapidly during the autumn, when people had to spend up to a week in quarantine waiting for their results. Currently everybody who takes a test can expect their results within 24 hours.
The centres will also carry out close contact surveys to alert people who have been in touch with someone who is infected.
Pressure on the system has eased in the past two weeks as infections have started to fall. Last week 50,000 fewer coronavirus tests were taken, following a drop of 26,000 the week before.
Groningen has the lowest infection rate of the 25 safety council regions with 11.1 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and a positive test rate of 6.7%.
The centre is open seven days a week from 7am to 11pm and can be booked online at coronatest.nl. Tests are free of charge.
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