KEY workers will be able to get tested for coronavirus at a new drive-through testing facility at UHI Inverness Campus.

Expected to open on Sunday, the new facility will operate on an appointment-only basis for NHS staff and other key workers and will initially run on a pilot basis.

Front-line NHS staff will be the first to be offered PCR swabs to identify whether they currently have the virus as part of Government attempts to drastically increase Covid-19 testing.

Drive-through testing centres are already in operation at Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh airports.

The Inverness centre will be offering self-administered tests by appointment for NHS staff and other key workers.

The UK Government said those tested in Inverness can expect results within "a few days".

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Those who test negative for coronavirus will be able to return to work as soon as possible, and those who test positive are able to recover.

Scotland Office minister Douglas Ross said: "This new UK Government-funded testing centre in Inverness will help key workers living in the area continue their vital work, helping to look after those who need it most.

"The UK Government has committed to expand our testing capacity right across the UK and this new centre is now one of four throughout Scotland.

"We will continue to work for everyone in the UK to save lives and protect our NHS."

It follows the launch of the UK Government’s partnership with universities, research institutes and companies to begin rollout of the network of new labs and field testing sites across the UK.

Professor John Newton, national coordinator for the UK Coronavirus Testing Strategy, said: “New testing sites such as this one are a key pillar of our 5-pillar plan to scale up testing, and are critical in supporting NHS staff and other frontline workers who are isolating at home to return safely to work if the test is negative.

“This is a brilliant example of industries and businesses turning their resources to creating and rolling out mass testing at scale, which will help to deliver on our aim of carrying out 100,000 tests a day across the UK by the end of the month.”

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