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December coronavirus testing facilities across Sefton for those with symptoms

Testing for people with symptoms

Across December, drive-through Mobile Testing Units will operate once again. These sites are for those with symptoms – a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell – and can be booked by calling 119 or visiting

Planned dates and sites may be subject to change if testing is required in other locations:

Opening hours from 8th Dec: 10am – 3pm

  • Mon 21 – Litherland
  • Tues 22 – Litherland
  • Weds 23 – Ainsdale

Opening times from 24th Dec: 10am -2.30pm

  • Thurs 24 – Aintree Racecourse
  • Mon 28 – Southport
  • Tues 29 – Southport
  • Weds 30 – Aintree Racecourse
  • Thurs 31 – Aintree Racecourse
  • Sat 2 Jan – Southport
  • Sun 3 Jan – Southport

In addition, local walk-through test centres are open every day from 8am to 8pm, providing easy access to COVID-19 tests for people who do not have access to a car and for those who have symptoms and should not travel by public transport.

Walk-through sites will open 9am-3pm on 25th and 28th December and on 1st January 2021. 

The four local test centres are located at:

  • Bootle Town Hall L20 7AA
  • Crosby Library Car Park, Haigh Road L22 OLQ
  • Netherton Activity Centre, Glovers Land L30 3TL
  • Southport Town Hall PR81DA

Those with symptoms seeking tests, need to book ahead of going to either the walk-through or drive-through sites. It’s quick and easy to book by calling 119 or going online at

Find out about SMART coronavirus tests for people with no COVID-19 symptoms. 

Get outdoors safely across Sefton this winter

Sefton’s heritage parks and green open spaces, along with its 22-mile coastline and exciting nature reserves are here to be explored this winter. The Council is encouraging residents to enjoy the outdoors in line with current government guidance.

Whether its walking, cycling or simply getting outside for a breath of fresh air, which many people may look to do over the festive break, staying local and exploring Sefton’s natural assets are a fantastic resource for residents as they continue to adapt to everyday life under COVID-19 restrictions.

Cllr Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:  “This year we’ve seen unprecedented use of our outdoor spaces, particularly throughout the summer months along our beautiful coastline. We joined forces with colleagues and partners to implement our Coastal Action Plan and we were delighted with the support we got from residents and visitors, the vast the majority of whom took note to enjoy our beaches safely.

“Now we’re embracing the seasonal changes and the onset of winter, and I would encourage everyone to continue to make the most of some fresh air when they get outdoors, as well as enjoying everything that nature has to offer in our Borough. That’s not just on our coastline but also our canal walks, cycling routes and Sefton’s many small open spaces and parks.”

Downloadable resources and ideas for places to explore locally in Sefton are available on the Visit Sefton website:

Cllr Moncur continued:  “I would like to thank our residents and visitors who are continuing to act responsibly in line with current restrictions. And I would just remind everyone to continue to practice social distancing when getting outdoors, to adhere to current tier two guidelines, and to show respect to both the landscape and the wildlife that we are so lucky to have in Sefton.”

Residents are being reminded that as well as following government guidelines, that they should be prepared for winter differences before getting out and about locally around Sefton’s parks, coastline and open spaces.

The words: Have a wonderful winter in Sefton, with images of winter trees

Cllr Moncur added: “Following this advice and going through a quick check list before heading out and about will ensure that people get the best out of spending time outdoors. You never know what wonders you might find on your doorstep if you explore locally this winter.”

Green Sefton’s advice and checklist is:

  • Always check the weather forecast as conditions can change quickly and check tide times before you set out to the coast.
  • Be prepared for winter weather with appropriate clothing and robust footwear.
  • Remember that the evenings get darker earlier so carrying a torch or wearing reflective clothing would be advisable.
  • Sefton’s entire coastline is environmentally sensitive and protected – please respect this precious landscape.
  • Do not disturb wildlife, livestock or damage habitat – keep a close eye on dogs and keep them away from pools of water or resting birds.
  • Follow the Countryside Code.
  • Camping, BBQs and fires are not permitted.
  • Leave nothing but your footprints – take all your rubbish home with you and recycle wherever possible.
  • Some facilities like public toilets may not be open in winter months at parks and nature reserves.
  • Beach car parks are closed and will not re-open until the spring – please park responsibly in the limited parking available nearby.
  • There are no RNLI patrols on Southport or Ainsdale beaches during winter.
  • If walking or cycling in remote areas, ensure you take a fully charged mobile phone and be aware that signal may be poor.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Stay local and walk or cycle rather than taking a vehicle where possible.
  • Remember to follow current COVID-19 guidelines and observe social distancing.

Green Sefton – Sefton Council’s service that looks after parks, green spaces, coast and countryside alongside volunteers and partner organisations – is asking residents to report anything that requires attention when they get outdoors and can email the team at

Green Sefton may not be able to commit as many resources to regular inspections during the COVID-19 outbreak, so visitors can play their part in helping the Council to maintain Sefton’s outdoor spaces.

Residents & Visitors urged to get a SMART COVID test today and help stop the spread in Sefton

SMART COVID-19 testing for people who DON’T have coronavirus symptoms 

Targeted, SMART COVID-19 testing for residents and visitors form other areas who DON’T have COVID-19 symptoms is now taking place in walk-through centres at:

  • Splash World in Southport*
  • Bootle Leisure Centre
  • Aintree Racecourse.

Each site is open from 9am to 6pm every day apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Monday 28th December and New Year’s Day. No appointments necessary so you can just turn up.

Use the live map to find out details and how busy each site is. 

*Please use rear car park of Dunes/Splashworld, accessible from the Esplanade, opposite the Lifeboat Station.

SMART testing will identify if you have COVID-19 but don’t know it because you don’t have symptoms. You will get your result in 30 minutes.
(People who have had a positive coronavirus in the past 90 days should not attend.)

Getting a test  will help stop you accidentally passing it on to your friends, family, colleagues, clients or customers, who might be vulnerable.

SMART testing will also help contract tracing and the identification of potential infection hotspots.

You can find our SMART testing FAQs here. 

We spoke to Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health about SMART testing.

You can read transcript of what Margaret Jones told us about SMART testing. 


Frontline services

With 10,000 tests available to Sefton each week, the Council is encouraging those who work in frontline services, work with vulnerable residents and schools staff to come forward for testing. Sefton’s three SMART testing centres have been set up and run by the military but after today, Friday 11th December, their operation will transfer to specially recruited and trained Council staff.  In the future, the Council will also be looking at setting up mobile or pop-up sites.

When SMART testing was launched Margaret Jones said: “The roll-out of this testing will help to identify people who have the COVID-19 virus but not the symptoms and drive down the R-number in Sefton and the City Region.

“Initially, we are focusing the available resources on groups where we have identified testing will have the greatest effect in reducing transmission and protecting vulnerable people and the frontline staff who work with them.

“Plus, the results will feed into the local contract tracing and will help us identify where hotspots of infections might be emerging.

“We have to remember though, a negative result is not a free pass to ignoring the Tier 2 restrictions we are all following. A negative test result means people are not infectious on that day but that can change, which is why we will be repeating tests with our target groups.

“And, of course it’s vital that anybody who does develop the coronavirus symptoms self isolates and calls 119 or visits immediately to book a test.”

Anyone who shows a positive result after their SMART Test will then be advised on isolating and making an appointment for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test that will confirm whether they have the virus

Sefton residents who don’t have coronavirus symptoms can also use Liverpool test sites to get a test. Details of how and where people can get a test are at

Find out more about testing in Sefton in December.




Live map now shows Sefton’s SMART COVID testing site details including likely waiting times

Bootle Map
Details of Bootle Leisure Centre SMART testing site shown on location map.

Sefton residents with NO coronavirus symptoms planning on getting a COVID-19 test can now find details of the Borough’s SMART test sites on a live map.

As well as showing the precisely location of the Bootle Leisure Centre, Southport Splash World and Aintree Racecourse sites, the NHS Find a Test Centre map also gives an indication of how busy they are and the likely waiting time. At the moment, they are all showing green with a waiting time of less than 15 minutes but if they get busier, Sefton Council will update the map to help people make a choice.

Check out the Live map here.

Details of Aintree racecourse SMART testing site shown on location map.
Details of Aintree racecourse SMART testing site shown on location map.

Each site is open from 9am to 6pm every day apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Monday 28th December and New Year’s Day. No appointments are necessary so people can just turn up.

SMART tests identify if people have COVID-19 but don’t know it because they don’t have symptoms. Results take just 30 minutes to come through.

Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones has described getting a SMART test before Christmas as a way to reduce the chance of passing on the COVID-19 virus to relations who may be vulnerable to what is still a dangerous virus over Christmas.

Details of Southport Splash World SMART testing site shown on location map.
Details of Southport Splash World SMART testing site shown on location map.

She said she understand why people might be reluctant to get a test because a positive result will spoil our Christmas but it’s a question of weighing up a few days’ disappointment against the possibly devastating effects of knowing we’ve given COVID-19 to an elderly or vulnerable relative for whom infection could be very serious and even life-threatening.

“Get a test before getting together,” she added.

Read Margaret Jones’ comments in full.

Leader, Chief Executive and Mayor join together to say THANK YOU

The Leader at Sefton Council Cllr Ian Maher, Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson and Madam Mayor June Burns send a Christmas message of thanks to Sefton residents, staff and partners for being strong and pulling together to support one another in what has been a challenging year.

Watch their Christmas Message for all staff, residents and partners, here

Additionally, in a joint statement to staff, Leader of Sefton Council, Cllr Ian Maher and Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson said:

“We know every member of staff at Sefton Council is working hard to make sure that we are able to continue to provide the vital services that our communities rely on.

We are immensely proud of the way in which the Council and its workforce have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, working in very demanding and challenging times.

Elected Members and the Council’s Senior Leadership Team have been considering a number of ways that we can formally thank our staff in recognition of everyone’s efforts in the ongoing Covid-19 response.

We have consulted with Trade Unions and employees that are centrally employed by Sefton Council will be awarded with an extra one day’s leave (pro-rata) during 2021/22. This will be linked to a person’s birthday, or if on a non-working day or for operational reasons this cannot be taken, a substitute day will be given, ideally as near to a person’s birthday.”


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