New fast Covid-19 testing centre opens in Colchester

PUBLISHED: 15 January 2021

Date issued: 15 January 2021

From Saturday 16 January 2021, a new fast testing centre will be available in Colchester for those residents who DO NOT have symptoms of Covid-19.

The new testing centre will be located at Colchester Leisure World, Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, CO1 1YH.

The site is the latest testing centre to open in Essex, following recent sites set-up in Tendring at Long Meadows, Rayleigh at the Megacentre, the Civic Centre in Harlow, the Nightingale Centre in Brentwood, the Towngate Theatre in Basildon, The Place Leisure Centre in Pitsea, Theydon Bois Village Hall in Epping and Central Baptist Church in Chelmsford.

These centres are among the first of their kind in the region, offering new and fast Lateral Flow Tests to the wider population. The tests are ONLY for people for who DO NOT have symptoms and give results in around 30 minutes.

Tests are by appointment only and bookings should be made online. Anyone booking should live in the Colchester borough. Tests can be booked here:

Booking online is the quickest and most effective option for residents seeking a Lateral Flow Test.

Residents can also book by calling 0333 772 6144 to arrange an appointment. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm every day, including Saturday and Sunday.

They can also email: and a member of staff will contact them to arrange an appointment.

Anyone WITH symptoms should book a test via the NHS Test and Trace App, or online here:

This additional centre has been established in response to the current infection rate in the borough of Colchester which has reached 880.3 per 100,000 (according to the latest available data).

Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex’s Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, said“Infection rates in Colchester continue to rise and local NHS services there are coming under significant strain as a result of the new variant of Covid-19. A ‘critical incident’ has been declared across the county, with critical care and bed capacity rising as well as high staff sickness and self-isolation levels.

“This additional testing centre will allow us to test even more people in the worst affected areas where we continue to see worryingly high rates. Thousands of people have already been tested at the fast testing centres we have opened.

“Testing people who feel well will help to identify the hidden cases in the community – people who may be unwittingly infecting others. If you test positive with one of the new fast tests, you will be asked to self-isolate, and take a further test to confirm the initial result.

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Essex County Council, said: “We are absolutely determined to do all we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Essex, especially in areas like Colchester where we are seeing cases continue to increase considerably as a result of the new variant.
“Targeted testing programmes are one part of how we will continue to tackle the virus, in addition to everyone playing their part in following the latest lockdown rules to limit the spread. An appointment to carry out a Covid-19 test will count as an essential journey under the lockdown rules.”

Councillor Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council said: “This is very good news to help us tackle Covid-19 in Colchester. The Covid-19 infection rate is high across the borough, putting enormous strain on hospitals and care homes. It is crucial that we increase testing to help reduce the spread. 

“This new test centre provides rapid testing for residents to pro-actively check they are safe even when they don’t have symptoms. You can still pass the virus on even if you have no symptoms, so I welcome the introduction of this new testing centre at Leisure World Colchester. I would encourage residents without symptoms to book an appointment online. By working together, we can identify infections quicker and help keep our community safe.” 


Page last reviewed: 15 January 2021


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