UPDATE: The IW Council has this evening announced Newclose will not be opening seven days a week, but instead a new facility is opening seven days a week at 1Leisure Medina.

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NEWCLOSE'S Covid testing centre will open on Sundays, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has revealed.

He said the news was a direct result of an article run by the County Press, which highlighted that the Island was one of the only places in the UK not offering tests seven days a week.

The article was spurred on by campaigner and County Press columnist Jonathan Young, who called for seven day a week opening of the facility in light of increased Covid rates.

Mr Young said at the weekend: "With cases spiking at an alarming rate, I wouldn't like to be the person having to explain to Islanders why they're possibly the only people in the country who can't drive to a testing centre on a Sunday.

"I feel the Newclose opening hours should be reviewed urgently."

The government website says all centres are open seven days a week, but the Isle of Wight and Northern Ireland have their own timetables.

More than 700 testing sites are open across the country, and the average distance to travel to a test site is just 2.4 miles. The Isle of Wight only has the one centre, however.

Mr Seely said an official announcement was imminent about Newclose, he had been assured, thanks to points raised in the County Press article.

Mr Young said today: "This is a victory for common sense, and is clearly what Islanders need. It could very well improve our ability to get contacts identified and isolated more quickly, something which is sorely needed."