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V&A Waterfront set for drive-through Covid-19 testing

In partnership with Dis-Chem.
The Waterfront at dusk. Image: Mike Hutchings, Reuters

Cape Town’s top tourist and shopping destination, the V&A Waterfront, plans to offer the convenience of a drive-through Covid-19 testing facility from Saturday (October 24), centre management announced on Thursday.

Being set up in partnership with JSE-listed health and pharmacy group Dis-Chem, the facility is the latest addition to the attraction’s current Covid-19 health and safety protocols.

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V&A Waterfront, which is jointly owned by Growthpoint Properties and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), recently became the first South African leisure destination to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) safe travels stamp of approval.

The drive-through testing facility “represents another weapon in our arsenal” in the fight against the pandemic, said V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.

“We need to make it easier for people to be tested … We remain resolutely committed to creating a safe space for our visitors and staff by constantly ensuring that our health measures are in line with the latest global scientific evidence.”

The Covid-19 testing facility will be located at Battery Park in the open air section of the Canal District. Image: Supplied

Green pointed out that the WTTC safe travels stamp of approval is a proud achievement for the V&A Waterfront, as it is awarded only once all globally recognised health and hygiene protocols have been implemented.

“It’s vital for us, and for our city’s economy, that our retail, hospitality and leisure services can resume safely. Since the beginning of the lockdown we’ve scaled up our use of technology and other examples of this include our click and collect drive-through shopping solutions, and our contactless parking payment.”

Read: Edgars store closed at V&A Waterfront

“We remain resolutely committed to creating a safe space for our visitors and staff by constantly ensuring that our health measures are in line with the latest global scientific evidence.”

The Covid-19 testing facility will operate between 9am and 4pm from Monday to Friday, and between 9am and 2pm on Saturday. It is set to extend its hours as well as open on Sundays during the peak December festive season.

“Dis-Chem trained nursing practitioners will undertake the Nasopharyngeal swab tests. The lab results will be linked to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD] database,” V&A Waterfront noted.

“[The facility] will be open to any adult or child of any nationality, with the requirement that one must produce an identity document or passport. All patrons should wear a mask at the site,” it added. Patrons don’t have to leave their cars during the testing process.

Drive-through coronavirus testing is not new in South Africa as it is seen as safer due to reduced contact with surfaces and testing being done while individuals are still in a car.

In many cases testing is done in large open spaces or parkades.

One of the PIC’s other shopping centre properties, Atholl Square in Sandton, has been offering a drive-through service for the past few months, and Dis-Chem is currently runs seven such testing stations nationally.

The facility at the V&A Waterfront is located at Battery Park in the open air section of the Canal District, with entrances via Alfred Street or Dock Road.

People wishing to use the service will need to pre-book through this online booking facility. The test costs R850.

Results will be available the day after the test has been conducted and will be communicated by email and SMS. The customer should print the physical certificate for travelling purposes. All results are automatically communicated to the NICD.

Anyone visiting the V&A Waterfront specifically to do the test will not be required to pay for parking.

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