This is the first look inside Scotland’s only self-cleaning coronavirus testing centre, intended to speed up results for patients in Tayside.
The Courier was invited inside the walk-through site at Dundee University’s Park Place car park on Friday.
It is one of eight walk-through sites being built north of the border by the UK government.
It uses a system of connected trailers as cubicles that are cleaned using dry ice – making it the first self-cleaning site in Scotland.
Operated by facility management firm Mitie, it will employ 40 people.
Members of the public will be urged to book a slot if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or have been told to get tested by the NHS.
A one-way system will take them to a booth where a nasal and throat swab sample will be taken.
Mitie’s mobilisation lead Ric Fyfe said it would be there for “as long as it’s required” and the aim was to get results back to people within hours.
He said: “Different people take different lengths of time to go through the test.
“In terms of booking, we will allow people 20 minutes, but there’s no pressure that you have to do it in that time.
“It’s a very simple process, that’s the beauty of it I think.
“Generally in less than 12 hours people are getting their results back.”
He added: “We were looking for somewhere that is easy for people to walk to. For people who don’t have access to a car, this gives them somewhere that they can come to easily.”
People who make a booking will be given a QR code, which will simplify the results process.
The booking system will also allow bosses to manage the times people are arriving and leaving so they can be spread throughout the day safely.
Another walk-through centre is expected to open in Sighthill, Edinburgh, on Saturday, while others are scheduled to open soon in Inverness, Greenock, Elgin and Fort William.
Scotland also has six drive-through sites, 21 mobile units and the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab, which processes samples at the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Iain Stewart, UK government minister for Scotland, said: “Testing is vital, helping to manage local outbreaks and protecting people’s livelihoods.
“We are pleased to be working with local and commercial partners. These sites are not possible without the hard work of many people. I would like to thank everyone involved for their incredible efforts for the good of the country at this difficult time.”
Simon Venn, Mitie chief government and strategy officer, said: “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.”
Tests in Dundee can be booked here or by calling 0800 028 2816.
Disabled access is available and staff on site will manage the flow of people to accommodate those in wheelchairs or other mobility issues.
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