THE County Ground car park has been transformed into a coronavirus testing centre.

Hundreds of key workers and elderly people with symptoms queued up throughout the day to be swabbed and find out if they had the disease that has killed more than 33,000 people in the UK.

Metal fences and sheeting blocked views of the facility from the Magic Roundabout while highway maintenance vehicles parked up on the grass bordering it.

One of the main entrances to the car park was cordoned off with cones so that all visitors are funnelled past another way which was lined with people wearing high-visibility jackets, aprons and protective face masks.

They kept an eye on all cars which slowed and turned onto the site, then checked that the drivers had proof of their appointment.

The cars were then allowed to join the constant, steadily-moving queue that snaked along the edge of the spaces.

One car had to carefully reverse back onto County Road after a short chat with an attendant.

Appointments must be booked online beforehand through the government’s website - you can’t just turn up unannounced.

The car park is usually thronged by football fans but people in army uniforms now patrolled the spaces.

Despite this unusual sight, passing cyclists and pedestrians did not break their stride and barely gave the scene a second look.

By 4pm, all of the day's tests were completed, the signs and cones had been cleared away, and the car park was empty again, with just the metal fence remaining.

Yesterday was the first fully-operational day of the testing area after workers spent much of Wednesday carefully setting up the site.

Staff are carrying out 300 appointments a day for NHS and care workers, frontline employees including police officers and firefighters, and anyone over the age of 65 who is showing symptoms of Covid-19.

Swindon Borough Council provided the car park for the Ministry of Defence to use as a testing centre on behalf of the Department of Health.

It will initially be open for four days a week, Thursday to Sunday.