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Free Covid-19 testing centres set up for tourist-facing Queenstown workers

Free drop-in Covid-19 testing clinics will be made available for tourist-facing workers in Queenstown from tomorrow.

A person being tested for Covid-19 (file). Source: istock.com

Testing clinics in the tourist hotspot will be hosted at the Village Green, on Camp Street, from Monday to Thursday, between 8am to 6pm, Queenstown Medical Centre, WellSouth primary health network and the Southern DHB said today in a joint press release.

The clinics are aimed at improving access to testing for people working in the hospitality, tourism and service sectors, including restaurant and bar staff, cleaning staff, taxi/uber and bus drivers, airport workers and anyone else who may have had contact with people traveling from outside the South Island.

People don't need to have Covid-19 symptoms to get a test at the clinics.

"We want to help ensure that Covid swabbing is convenient and accessible to workers in the Queenstown area," Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Jack, says.

"If Covid-19 has made its way to our community, we can find it and stamp it out quickly."

It comes as part of continued surveillance testing taking place across the Southern district and around the country.

WellSouth has delivered more than 20 pop-up surveillance testing events in the region in the past six months, including in Gore, Balclutha and Oamaru.

"We’ve twice conducted surveillance testing in Frankton – once in April and again in August – and the Queenstown Lakes community have been tremendously supportive and eager to help," WellSouth CEO Andrew Swanson Dobbs said.

"I’m sure we will again have a good turn out from service and hospitality workers taking this opportunity for free, easy-to-access Covid-19 testing."

Queenstown Medical Centre CEO Ashley Light says he expects Queenstown workers will take advantage of the free testing.

"The health and well-being of our population is a priority and getting a large number of workers tested will send a strong message of confidence to the rest of the country."

There are currently no confirmed Covid-19 cases in the South Island, however people are able to travel freely around the country under Level 2.