Army goes on attack at the Fairfield Halls against coronavirus

Croydon is to get a covid-19 testing centre – for three days, anyway.

Croydon is to get a drive-in testing centre at the Fairfield Halls for three days

The government announced this morning that a temporary, drive-in testing centre, staffed by the Army, is being set up in the car park behind the Fairfield Halls.

It is operating today, tomorrow and Saturday, May 2.

Testing at this centre is only for key workers and their families who have symptoms of the virus, or those over 65 years old who have symptoms. Tests are by appointment only, arranged via the government website.

The announcement comes after strong protests from MPs, trades unions and even the Bishop of Croydon about the lack of a testing centre closer to Croydon, which has one of the highest, if not the highest (the statistics vary from day-to-day) number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the capital.

NHS staff and keyworkers or their family have faced the prospect of driving all the way to Chessington, at least 30 minutes away, if they have been feeling unwell and needed to get tested. With hospital staff under intense pressure of work, this was the kind of visit to a “world of adventure” that our nurses, doctors and orderlies could really do without.

Testing is regarded by the World Health Organization and other medical experts and scientists as an essential tool to overcome the covid-19 pandemic, as it allows those who contract the disease to be isolated to avoid spreading it any further, while those key workers given a clean bill of health are able to continue or resume their important work.

In the past fortnight, the number of testing centres around the country has been increased to around 30, including some mobile units as will be used in Croydon.

At the beginning of the lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised that 250,000 tests would be carried out daily. Figures suggest that the government, not for the first time during the pandemic crisis, has fallen a long way short of its target.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Fairfield Halls, Health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Army goes on attack at the Fairfield Halls against coronavirus

  1. Charlotte Davies says:

    Three days is not long enough is it? It needs to be here day in day out serving the population, clearing through the huge numbers of people who need testing so that we can get Covd19 under control and go back to something that looks like normal.

    • It’s actually just operating for a total of 15 hours.
      And it’s all very late, too.
      They may have done a calculation on how many tests they can get through for key workers in the area, though how well this might cope with those working in care homes can only be guessed at.
      And how did anyone get an appointment this morning when the announcement wasn’t until 10.30?
      Not another window dressing exercise, surely?

  2. 3 days!!!…what’s the point???

Leave a Reply