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MOT centres could be re-purposed as coronavirus test centres

Armagh MOT centre DVA

MOT centres in Armagh, Newry and Craigavon could become coronavirus test locations, according to a report in the BBC.

The BBC reports that that health trusts right across Northern Ireland are assessing suitability of other MOT centres, after it was confirmed Belfast’s Balmoral road will come into operation next week.

It is understood the centres will facilitate drive-through coronavirus tests, so those being tested can remain in their vehicles.

Last week, the Department for Infrastructure suspended operations at MOT centres for three months, with immediate effect, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “It is important we do what we can to further prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“I have taken the decision to suspend all MOT testing to protect our customers and staff and adhere to public health authority guidelines on social distancing.”

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin MLA and Infrastructure spokesperson Cathal Boylan has stressed the need for HGV drivers to be able to avail of proper health and safety standards in their workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Newry and Armagh MLA stated: “It has been reported that some HGV Drivers are concerned about the Health and Safety standards of their workplace, as firms are not implementing adequate measures to ensure staff are not at risk of transmission.

“These firms have a duty of care to ensure the well-being of their employers and the Health and Safety Executive needs to ensure workplace compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.

“This should include measures such as deep cleaning procedures as well as the provision of cleaning facilities and protective gear for drivers, where deemed necessary.

“Drivers are playing an essential role in efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak by ensuring supply lines are secure and their safety must not be put at risk because of their vital contribution during this crisis.”

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