• Ikea opens drive-through testing centre at Wembley store
  • Could be one of multiple testing centres opened by furniture giant
  • “Dramatic scale up” of testing promised this week

A covid-19 test centre for NHS workers has opened at Ikea’s Wembley store.

The testing centre opened today and could be one of a number of NHS testing sites set up at Ikea branches, the Swedish furniture giant said.

Late last week, the government and NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens promised antigen testing — to find out whether somebody currently has the disease — for front-line NHS staff  will be “dramatically scaled up” this week. National leaders have been criticised for the lack of testing being carried out compared to some other countries.

Ikea follows Chessington World of Adventures in setting up facilities to test more NHS workers for covid-19. Testing began at the theme park last Friday, with nurses taking swabs through car windows.

An Ikea spokeswoman said: “Today, a drive-through NHS covid-19 test centre has opened in the car park of our Wembley store.

“We are incredibly proud that we are able to support the government and the NHS in this small way, and are working with them to identify any additional sites that could also support the national effort.”

Ikea said this is currently its only site hosting a covid-19 testing facility but “it may not remain that way as the situation continues to evolve”.

Trusts have been told to set aside 15 per cent of their daily covid-19 testing capability for front-line staff self-isolating at home with others.