NEW coronavirus testing units will be set up in Purbeck and Boscombe from next week while new rapid tests are also being introduced.

Dorset’s director for public health told councillors on Monday that the government was no longer setting up permanent centres but that two mobile facilities would be introduced.

It comes as the county has begun piloting new rapid lateral flow tests which can provide results in less than 30 minutes.

From next week, one of the units will be based at Hawkwood Road car park in Boscombe while the other will be set up at the Norden park and ride near Corfe Castle.

Three arrested for breaching coronavirus restrictions at anti-lockdown protest More than 9,000 people in the BCP Council area and about 5,000 in the rest of the county are being tested for the coronavirus each week outside of hospitals with the rate of positive tests having increased.

The main regional drive-in centre in Creekmoor was set up in April but concerns have been raised since about the difficulty for some people in accessing it, prompting new centres to be set up.

In response to rising infections in Bournemouth, last month a new facility was established in the Lansdowne while the existing mobile unit added Wallisdown to its routes around the rest of the county.

Public Health Dorset say spike in coronavirus cases were acquired before lockdown It had been planned to create further sites over the following weeks but, speaking at Monday’s meeting of BCP Council’s scrutiny board, Mr Crowe said the government has since stopped taking applications.

“We’ve been successful in bringing forward additional local testing sites, which provide access to people who can’t drive to the Creekmoor testing site,” he said.

Latest weekly Covid-19 rates for local authority areas in England: see how Dorset compares “They have now been halted by the Department of Health and Social Care but we are able to bring forward additional mobile testing units.

“Two of these will come on stream next week: for BCP Council there’s Hawkwood Road car park in Boscombe and in Dorset there will be a site at the Norden park and ride.”

He said rapid tests, or lateral flow devices, were now also being piloted in the county and that their use by care homes and at homelessness shelters has now been approved.

Routine testing of NHS staff using the devices has also started this week, he confirmed.