Himley Hall and Park reopen to the public

Himley Hall and Park has reopened to the public this morning, following a temporary closure during the set-up of a Covid-19 test site and the associated signage.

The drive-through site is expected to operate for the duration of lockdown and all tests must be booked in advance. People visiting the park from today are asked to enter via the main entrance as usual.

Visitors are advised there will be very limited parking available during the testing and some areas of the park will be restricted to the public. Once the park has reached capacity it will close. Anyone arriving for a Covid-19 test must not use the main entrance and should instead use the West Gate entrance, closest to the Himley lights.

People who attend the site for a test must leave the park immediately and ensure car windows are up fully when exiting.

The drive area, which is often used for children to ride their bikes, remains closed and as always social distancing must be maintained, following all government advice. The Terrace Hatch will open as normal for take-aways.

The site is the third testing site to open in Dudley borough. The location was chosen to improve access to testing on this side of the borough and due to the high rate of infection currently being experienced in Dudley. The other sites, which are walk-through test centres, are on Flood Street car park and on Jackson Street car park in Lye. There is also a drive through mobile test site at Brierley Hill.

All those attending an appointment will be provided with guidance on getting to and from the test site safely, with additional support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities.

The Himley site is open seven days a week and appointments must be made in advance by calling 119 or visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care said:

"Himley Hall and Park has is now open to the public and I would like to thank our residents for being patient during the closure. This further test site in the borough is making it easier for our residents to access testing, which is a vital part of the work to stop the spread.

"Everyone involved has worked incredibly hard to get the test site up and running and undertake the work needed to reopen the park as soon as possible. There will be reduced car parking and some areas will be inaccessible to visitors over the coming weeks but our focus remains with doing all we can to get on top of this virus.

"I would like to remind anyone who may have coronavirus symptoms to contact the NHS Test and Trace service as soon as possible to book a test appointment in advance by calling 119.

Testing is vital to stop the spread of coronavirus in local communities. Anyone testing positive for the virus in England will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace to help them track their contacts. This will help people to identify who they may have been in close contact with, protecting others from further transmission.

Close contacts of those testing positive will also hear from NHS Test and Trace, asking them to stay at home for 14 days to prevent them from unknowingly spreading the virus. They will be advised to also book a test if they develop symptoms.

All people attending the centres must wear a face covering, with the exception of children under three years old, who must observe social distancing on site. Children over three will only be admitted if they are wearing a face covering. If they cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons, then they should request a home test.

The testing centre is being operated in partnership with Serco and will offer self-administered tests.


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