A “pop-up” COVID-19 testing site opened on Wednesday at the Nhill Trailer Exchange to cater for truck drivers needing a test before crossing the border into South Australia.

This comes after the South Australian government ruled that truck drivers entering the state must have received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their entry.

This led to trucks lining up along Baillie and Read Streets in Horsham earlier this week awaiting a test. The nearest two asymptomatic testing sites to the border along the Western Highway are in Horsham.

The “pop-up” site at Nhill is being stood up by the West Wimmera Health Service in partnership with Ballarat Health Services and the Department of Health.

West Wimmera Health Service CEO Ritchie Dodds said that this site should take some of the pressure off other testing sites and make life a little easier for truck drivers.

The site opened at 6pm on Wednesday 1st September and operated through to midnight following the arrival of fourteen staff from Ballarat Health Services.

From Thursday 2nd September the site is open from midday to midnight until further notice.

“There are a number of moving parts involved in setting up a site like this, but we successfully did something similar late last year and that experience has served us well. We’re very grateful for the support from Ballarat Health Services and of course the work of our own engineering and maintenance team,” Mr Dodds said.

Although the testing setup at the Nhill Trailer Exchange is temporary, a more permanent solution will be considered if usage over the coming days indicates the need for one.