News update 10 July 2020

New enhanced COVID-19 testing service for visitors and residents of Scilly

An innovative enhanced community testing capability is now in place for the Isles of Scilly providing rapid COVID-19 swab testing for both residents and visitors which addresses potential delays in getting tests to our islands.

This solution has been led by Council of the Isles of Scilly in partnership with the Peninsula Pathology Network, St Mary’s Hospital, Cornwall Foundation Trust, Cornwall Council Public Health, Devon CCG and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust.

The new service means that, uniquely, individuals with symptoms can be tested at their home or holiday accommodation.  They will not need to travel to a mobile testing centre or need to order a test through the post.

Individuals simply contact the mobile testing team at or 01626 204 950 Monday to Sunday 8am – 5pm to arrange a test. 

A test will be brought to your door. Tests will be either self-administered or conducted by our new dedicated Testing Co-ordinator.

This service applies to all islands and can be accessed by both residents and visitors.

Mobile testing will form a key role in identifying any suspected cases of the virus quickly, enabling a rapid and comprehensive response from the Local Incident Response Team that includes Public Health. 

Adele Bird will be the first Mobile Testing Coordinator on the Isles of Scilly and the mobile testing service on St Mary’s will have use of a 100% electric Nissan Leaf car, provided by the Council’s electric vehicle project. 

The service will further be supported by the charity ‘Cornwall Blood Bikes’ who supply volunteer out of hours courier support and will be on hand to transport tests on the mainland if bad weather causes delay to normal travel and courier routes.


Joel Williams, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board for the Council of the Isles of Scilly:

“We are pleased to be able to offer this service to the residents and visitors on the Isles of Scilly to provide reassurance that anyone who needs a test can get one quickly. Thank you to everyone that has worked hard to make this happen.  Enhanced rapid testing will provide a comprehensive approach to support our visitors and residents alongside the free evacuation service for individuals identified as COVID-19 positive”


Claire Higdon, Testing Strategist, Peninsula Pathology Network:

“If a resident or visitor develops symptoms while on Scilly they need to self-isolate in their home or accommodation and arrange for a test by emailing  or calling  01626 204 950.  If they test positive or are contacted by the national Test and Trace Service and identified as a contact, they would be eligible for a free evacuation service via sea or air transport to the mainland, where they can self-isolate at home in line with government advice. The Isles of Scilly Incident Response Team will contact anyone with a positive test to arrange this.  The Incident Response Team can be contacted by emailing”


The Isles of Scilly COVID-19 testing service will be developed over the coming days and weeks and further information on any changes or enhancements will be shared.  For any questions relating to testing or the evacuation plans please contact



Further Notes:

Electric vehicles have already been utilised during lockdown delivering Meals on Wheels to vulnerable adults and the project is committed to providing further transport solutions to the Islands’ community. The vehicles are part of the the GO-EV project on Scilly.  More information can be found of the project website at:

Cornwall Blood Bikes are a team of volunteer members who are dedicated to providing a weekday ‘out of hours’ service from 17:00 to 07:00 and a 24 hour Weekend and Bank Holiday service supporting the NHS to deliver essential Whole Blood, Pathology Samples, Medication, Medical Equipment, Medical Notes and occasionally Donor Breast Milk to the NHS hospitals and hospices throughout Cornwall and beyond. They are entirely funded by the generosity of our communities within Cornwall and can receive donations through their website:

Publishing date: 
Friday, 10 July, 2020