The Government's supposedly 'world-beating' Covid-19 testing system is said to be 'in chaos,' with a backlog of 185,000 swabs as it desperately sends tests to Germany and Italy in a bid to catch up.
The system is claimed to have capacity for 375,000 tests a day, but the number being tested dropped to 437,000 a week at the start of September.
The figures, shared by The Sunday Times, amount to just 62,000 daily tests.
Its report claims Covid-19 hotspots in the North of England are struggling to get tests and told to travel hundreds of miles for an appointment.
The Government's 'world-beating' testing system was said to have capacity for 375,000 tests a day - but by the end of the first week of September, there was an average of 62,000 daily tests
No tests were available in Bolton between Thursday and Saturday, as the city struggles with Britain's highest infection rate - at 180 weekly cases per 100,000 people.
Earlier this week a 'glitch' in the system sent hundreds of people, from as far as London and Cornwall, to an overwhelmed testing site in Telford.
Tory MP Lucy Allan said: 'On Tuesday evening, hundreds of cars from across the country - and I mean hundreds - descended on Telford and its testing site as directed by the booking system.
'Tests quickly ran out, roads were blocked, people who had travelled from as far away as Cornwall, Stockport and London were turned away, and my constituents were no longer able to access tests in the area - and they in turn were sent elsewhere.'
The Government's testing system is said to be 'in chaos,' as it struggles to reach the 375,000 daily test target, while labs cope with a backlog of 185,000 swabs
Hundreds of cars from across the country descended on a test centre in Telford on Tuesday, due to a 'glitch,' in the testing system, the town's MP revealed
Some claimed they were turned away from the site after being told it had run out of tests.
Sarah-Jane Marsh, the director of testing at NHS Test and Trace, last week admitted that people were unable to get coronavirus tests because laboratories had reached a ‘critical pinch-point’.
There are also major staffing issues at Randox, which picked up the £133million testing contract at the start of the pandemic.
Documents seen by The Sunday Times claim the company disposed of 12,401 used swabs on September 2.
Since the start of August it has voided 35,000 used test kits - with no chance of a