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COVID-19: Drive-through testing facility given go-ahead at Rooke - 159/2020

March 10, 2020

A GHA Drive-Through Testing facility has been given approval to go-ahead at Rooke. This temporary facility is planned to be operational within a few days.

The Government has authorised that part of the site be dedicated to the provision of a “drive-through” facility for the GHA where patients can be tested for Coronavirus/COVID-19. It is also anticipated that blood tests may be taken in the same way for those invited to take them up in the near future.

The works at Rooke are expected to commence imminently.

Only patients who have been invited due to their potential exposure will be given the test. People will not be asked to leave their car but will be swabbed as they wait, having first provided the necessary validation of their appointment. The sample will then be processed in the usual way. The GHA is working hard to process tests locally by the end of March, but at the moment swabs are sent to London. GHA staff will be wearing aprons, gloves and masks/face shields.

By being tested in their own cars, people will be protected from contamination that might arise from visiting St Bernard's Hospital. Similar services have just been developed in the UK, South Korea and Germany, but this way to test people is also an innovation in Gibraltar

This is part of the preparations of the Government, the GHA and Public Health Gibraltar for a worst case scenario as we face the challenges posed by COVID-19.



The Government is confident that Gibraltar is as ready as possible for the impact of the virus.

The Government continues to take the advice of our Public Health professionals and the situation is under constant review.

The best thing that everyone can do to protect themselves and their loved ones is to wash hands regularly and well with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It is also a good idea not to shake hands, hug or give kisses when greeting colleagues, friends and relatives for the time being, especially if they are over 70. We know that the elderly and people with chronic health conditions are the most vulnerable, so we must all do our part to keep ourselves and our loved ones out of harm’s way.

If you do not feel well, please do not go to the Primary Care Centre or to St Bernard’s Hospital as this puts you and others at greater risk. Go home, avoid public transport and call 111 as soon as you can to tell us about your symptoms.

For almost 90% of people, the symptoms will be very mild and most people who contract the virus will be able to recover well and quickly at home. 99% of people will likely fully recover.  The focus now is to increase the distance between people in order to try to slow the spread as much as possible, and to take extra care with older and vulnerable friends and relatives. Think twice before you pay them a visit and strongly consider whether you could phone or video call them instead.

Please look to official sources for advice, particularly

  • PROTECT your loved ones – call, don’t visit
  • WASH your hands
  • CALL 111 if you feel unwell