Renfrewshire’s Covid-19 free community testing bus is now on the road.

The bus – which has been kitted out as a mobile Covid-19 testing centre for asymptomatic people – made its first appearance in Paisley’s County Square on Wednesday.

The bus offers free lateral flow tests – for people without symptoms of the virus – and people can also pick up packs of tests to take home. It will run on a drop-in basis – no booking is needed.

It does not offer PCR tests – anyone who does have symptoms or who needs a PCR test should book at one of the government-run centres, such as Glasgow Airport, Bridge Street in Paisley, or the new site opening later this week at Charles Avenue in Renfrew.

The community testing bus is operated by the council as part of the wider community testing programme overseen by the NHS and Scottish Government.

It will tour the area over the weeks ahead and provides an extra option for people to access testing wherever they live. Dates and venues will be on Renfrewshire Council’s website at:

There to see inside the bus on its first appearance was Renfrewshire Council leader Ian Nicolson and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s lead nurse Janet Campbell.

Photo: Cllr Iain Nicolson and Janet Campbell

Cllr Nicolson said: “Unfortunately Covid is not going away – rates remain high across the whole country, and we know people can spread the virus without knowing they have it.

“Asymptomatic testing helps protect you and those around you and I would urge everyone to follow the expert advice, which is to test twice a week even if you feel fine.

“The bus makes that easier for people to do by adding an extra option to those already there and will mean people across all communities in Renfrewshire will get the chance to be tested in person.”

Janet Campbell said: “I would like to thank everyone in Renfrewshire, who has already come forward to be tested, for doing so.

“Regular testing, even if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, is really important as if you do have the virus, but are not aware, it means you can take action to help stop the spread.

“We all have a part to play in protecting our families, loved ones and our local communities and I would encourage Renfrewshire residents to please drop in to one of your local test facilities, where the team will be happy to help you.”

Nathan Tyler, Director of Communications and Engagement at West College Scotland, said: “The safety of our students, our staff and the communities we serve are of the upmost importance to West College Scotland.

“We’re delighted to be involved in and support any initiative that encourages and enables people to regularly test for Covid-19 and in doing so help reduce the spread of the virus.”

Main photo at the top of the page shows Janet Campbell with some of the staff at the bus