No more walk-in Covid tests in Limerick as demand soars


by Bernie English

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LIMERICK people needing a Covid test were queuing for hours in recent days for the service, leading to a situation where walk-in testing is no longer available in the region.

Huge demand for Covid tests have seen 1,000 tests a day being carried out in the Ballysimon centre alone. This has led to the cancellation of on-demand testing and anyone requiring a test will now have to make an appointment for what was previously a walk-in service.

Reports were coming in of bumper-to-bumper, all-day queues at Mid West testing centres last week and now the HSE says an appointment is necessary.

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In a statement, the HSE said “This surge in demand means that walk-in testing cannot be accommodated at this time, and tests are only available by booking in advance.

“People attending Test Centres will be required to verify their pre-booked appointments upon arrival, and it is important that they only attend during their allocated time as it may not be possible to facilitate testing outside these time slots.

“Members of the public can book appointments through the HSE website. Those who do not have internet access are encouraged to seek the assistance of a friend or family member, or they can seek a test through their GP.  All Covid-19 testing is free of charge, and is available seven days a week.”

Ellen Rush, Covid Testing Lead with HSE Mid West Community Healthcare said: “Our staff are under significant pressure with the high number of people currently presenting for tests. We’re appealing to the public to help us by booking their tests in advance, and by attending for their tests at the allocated time.”