Bristol Testing for the new variant of Coronavirus – does it affect you?

Bristol Testing for the new variant of Coronavirus – does it affect you?

From today (Sunday 7 February) Bristol introduced extra community testing, also known as ‘surge’ testing, to help us learn more about the Kent COVID-19 variant that has mutated in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. 

This extra community testing will act to help reduce the spread of infection by finding asymptomatic cases and prompting people to self-isolate. The
one-off testing will use PCR tests, which are analysed in laboratories, rather than lateral flow tests (also known as rapid tests).  

This testing is available to people living in specific postcodes and is running for two weeks from today (Sunday 7 February). It is open to those aged 16 and over, who do not have any symptoms of

The testing programme includes new mobile testing units (also known as MTUs), which are sites where you can drive-through or walk-up to take a test. There will soon also be locations where people can collect and return testing kits and the delivery of testing kits to homes in certain areas. 

Freephone 0800 694 0184.
Mon – Fri, 8.30am to 5pm.
Sat – Sun, 10am to 2pm.

Email your questions to

Visit the Council website for the latest information. 


Mutated = changed into something different.

Asymptomatic = infected but has no symptoms.

Together with South Gloucestershire Council – and only since Friday night when the Government confirmed it wanted Bristol City Council to launch this extra testing – its staff teams in the community and partner agencies in public health have been working really hard to get these systems set up quickly and effectively for residents.

The Mayor Rees said,
“I understand that some of you may be feeling concerned or anxious about this new testing, and I want to reassure all of you that the actions we’re taking are to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
“Today, just 36 hours after we first found out that testing was needed, over 2,000 tests were carried out across all three sites. To those who attended, I would like to thank you for responding so positively and in some cases being prepared to wait whilst we worked to meet demand.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone for playing their part in helping to prevent the spread of the virus and protect our city. The sites will be back open at 9am tomorrow morning.”
There is nothing to be worried about if you live in one of the areas were testing is happening, we should just keep on doing what we are already doing – keeping to all the national lockdown rules:
⦁ Washing our hands thoroughly and often,
⦁ Keeping at least 2 metres space between ourselves and anyone else, and
⦁ covering our face – especially our nose and mouth. 

Postcode sectors
You can get tested at the new asymptomatic testing sites if your postcode starts with: 

BS1 3

BS2 0, BS2 8, or BS2 9  

BS3 5

BS4 4
BS5 0, BS5 6, or BS5 7
BS6 5, or BS6 6

BS8 2, or BS8 3 (only within Bristol City Council boundary – check yours at  

BS9 4

BS14 9, or BS14 0 (only within Bristol City Council boundary – check yours at   

BS16 1, BS16 2, BS16 3, BS16 5, BS16 6, BS16 7, or BS16 9

BS37 8. 

New mobile testing units 

Who are they for? 
If you are over-16, live in one of the postcodes above, and do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can get a COVID-19 test at one of the new mobile test sites.

Where and when? 
Extra community testing is running from Sunday 7 February, for two weeks.

There are three new test sites: 

  1. Bristol and Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR, 9am – 4pm.
  2. Bristol City Council Testing Centre, 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA,
    9am – 3pm.
  3. Imperial Retail Park, Hartcliffe Way, BS13 7TJ – 9am – 3pm.

At the test site you should wear a face covering and follow social distancing. For now, you do not need to book or to bring ID or proof of address. 

Frequently Asked Questions 
Q. Do I need to book a slot? 
You do not need to book an appointment, although the Council may introduce a booking system soon. They will provide more details in the coming days. 

Q. Are the sites walk-in or drive-through? 
You can walk-in or drive-through at all three testing sites. 

Q. I can’t access these sites for medical reasons/because I’m shielding. What do I do? 
As not everyone can get to a test site there will be other ways for people who live in one of the areas above to get a test arranged soon.  

Q. What test will I have if I visit the site? 
Standard PCR tests will be used at these testing sites. These types of tests involve a swab of the nose and throat and are sent off to laboratories to be analysed. 
Q. An existing test site for people with symptoms is closer to me. Can I go there? 
No. If you do not have symptoms and live in one of the areas above, you must use the new sites which have been set up for this purpose. This is to help keep you safe.  

Q. How and when will people be informed of the results? 
NHS Test and Trace will tell people whether or not they have a positive test result by text or email. Most people get their result the next day, but it may take up to 3 days. 

Q. Do you have to isolate after having on one of these tests?  
No. You should only need to self-isolate if you test positive, have any symptoms, or are contact traced following contact with someone who tests positive.  

Masters Scholarships for Disabled Students – up to £30,000 available

 The Snowdon Master’s Scholarships applications for 2021 are now open, funding brilliant disabled students with up to £30,000 to join UK based Master’s course. 

Snowdon Masters Scholarships Successful students will receive up to £15,000 towards their fees and a £15,000 allowance while studying. There are a number of scholarships available, and students can apply for any master’s course or university – applications are open for both National and International Students. 

Applying Find out more and apply: (Deadline: 6th April 2021)

Coronavirus Vaccination: Disabled and Older people’s Information and Questions event, 7-8.30pm 10th February 2021

Tickets (free) from

With more COVID-19 vaccines approved and more trials taking place, this is a good time to get all the information you need.
Many people have got their information about vaccinations from the internet, and others have plenty of unanswered questions about COVID-19 vaccinations. Are you one of these people?
If so, this event is your chance to find out more about COVID-19 vaccines and support to make an informed decision about having one.
Dr Rajeka Lazarus (Consultant in Infectious Diseases at University Hospital Bristol & Weston) and a panel of experts, will be there to talk about how vaccines work and help answer many of the concerns and questions Disabled and older people have around getting access to the vaccine.
We want this event to be accessible to as many older and Disabled people as possible so:
If you use a screenreader, use the ‘contact the organiser’ function (at the bottom of the listing) when you book your ticket;
If you communicate using BSL or are a deafened person you will be fine because BSL interpreters, and captioning, will be available;
If you have a vision impairment, you should be OK because no-one will be relying on a presentation to get their information across.
If you have other access needs contact the organiser.
You can find their contact details by:

  1. following the same Eventbrite link as you use to book a ticket,
  2. scrolling down to the bottom of the page – just above the other events you might like message and
  3. clicking on the contact button.
    This will take you to a contact form you can use for your message.

This event is being run by Bristol, North Somerset South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Healthwatch Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Covid-19 Vaccine Accessibility event – 10th February

Please see below information on an event about the COVID-19 vaccine which will be held on  Wednesday 10th February, from 19:00 – 20:30.  This event will have a specific focus on people with disabilities, mental health conditions, and older age groups.

This event is an opportunity for you to find out more about COVID19 vaccines and allow you to make an informed choice.

With three COVID-19 vaccines approved and more trials taking place, Dr Rajeka Lazarus, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at University Hospital Bristol & Weston, and our expert panel, will be available to discuss how vaccines work and help answer many of our concerns and questions around getting access to the vaccine.

Some common questions which will be addressed will be:

•      How did the vaccine get approved so quickly?

•      Is the vaccine safe? What ingredients does it contain?

•      What are the side effects of the vaccine?

•      Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

•      Will the vaccine be effective against all the new strains of the virus?

•      I’m fit and healthy, why should I have the vaccine?

•      Where will I receive the vaccine? How do the vaccine centres operate? How will I get there?

The event, run by Bristol, North Somerset South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Healthwatch Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire will feature updates from keynote speakers and a panel discussion to address some of the questions above and more.

If you have queries in relation to the event, or are unable to access Eventbrite to book directly, please email

*This event is one of several developments that have come out of the work Bristol Disability Equality Forum (and other voluntary sector organisations) have been doing with the local NHS, throughout the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, to ensure that all their Covid-19 information and services are accessible to Disabled people.

The Southmead Development Trust is hiring for three roles in their Social Prescribing Team.

The Southmead Development Trust is hiring for three roles in their Social Prescribing Team. The roles are about helping to improving health and wellbeing for the North Bristol community and supporting people to find community groups and services. All of the jobs have a closing date of the 5th of February 2021. 1. Social Prescribing Link Worker, click HERE. 2. Children and Young People’s Social Prescribing Manager, click HERE. 3. Social Prescribing Link Worker Manager, click HERE.

Bristol City Council SEND Survey

Following on from last year’s surveys, Bristol City Council are again asking children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers to share their views about the services in Bristol.

Each survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and all those taking part will have the opportunity to be entered into a draw to win one of two £10 ‘Love to Shop’ vouchers that can be spent on-line or in store at more than 20,000 shops, restaurants and attractions.

The survey will be live for 7 weeks (18January – 5 March) and links to the surveys are on every page of Bristol’s SEND Local Offer website.

Click here to take part in the parent carer survey

Click here to take part in the children and young people’s survey

Easy Read versions of both surveys are attached also available to download from the survey home page.

The survey results will be published on Bristol’s SEND Local Offer website in the summer term.

Due to the drop in travellers, due to the lockdown, GWR are changing their timetables from Monday, 25 January.

The key changes locally are:

–  the Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington services will be hourly on Saturdays, and

–  weekday and Saturday local services between Weston-super-Mare and Bristol Parkway will be cancelled.

However, station stops in these areas will be added to their Cardiff to Taunton local services instead.

There will also be some later start up and early finish times across the network. 

The changes are temporary, and can be quickly reversed.

GWR will also be making sure the key school and college services will all be in operation before pupils and students return.

GWR advice to customers is to check timetables before travel, using their online journey checker on

or by calling train enquiries.