Coronavirus UK: 'Shambles' as 25% of tests booked by non-eligible

Coronavirus testing centres are being besieged by the worried well, with one in four of those having booked tests ineligible for them. 

Large queues were building outside centres in England today as the government's swab system descended into further chaos.

Long lines were pictured at sites in Southend, Bury, Birmingham and Manchester today as Health Secretary Matt Hancock faced questions over the system - which has left doctors, nurses, care home residents and teachers all unable to get checked.

Internal test and trace research by the Department for Health estimates that roughly 25 per cent of all those booking a test do not meet the requirements to do so. 

A test centre has been set up in a car park at Manchester City's Etihad stadium with cars driving in every few minutes.

Mother-of-two Melissa Wood, 41, said: 'My partner thinks he's got it so I thought I'd better get one. 

'I think too many people are having a test when they don't need one.'

Businessman Mark Bowen, 43, booked one days ago as a workmate had symptoms.

'My wife tried to book one yesterday and she was offered a test in Belfast,' he said. 'She's hardly going to nip on a plane or ferry to get a test.

NHS swab testing centre at Twickenham and Chessington in Surrey

NHS swab testing centre at Twickenham and Chessington in Surrey

People queue for a coronavirus test outside a community centre following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Bury, September 15, 2020

People queue for a coronavirus test outside a community centre following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Bury, September 15

A woman uses an umbrella to shelter from the sun as she waits for a coronavirus test outside a community centre in Bury, Britain, September 15

A woman uses an umbrella to shelter from the sun as she waits for a coronavirus test outside a community centre in Bury, Britain, September 15

'It's a joke. The government needs to get a grip before we have a second wave '

One plumber, who had a test in Bolton, said: 'I've tried to get a test for days.

WHO CAN GET A CORONAVIRUS TEST? 

Anyone with symptoms can get a coronavirus test, whatever their age.

Those prioritised for testing in England include all NHS social care staff, such as doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff, including community pharmacists and their staff, volunteers and unpaid carers.

Staff at essential public services staff, including those working for prisons, probation, courts, charities, and religious staff are also prioritised.

Those working in public safety and national security sectors, such as police and Ministry of Defence civilians, contractors and armed forces personnel are listed by the Government as priorities as well.

Employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

In England, all registered adult care homes can apply for coronavirus tests.

 

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'At first the only place they offered me was Doncaster which is miles away.

'But I managed to get one here.

'A lot of people have given up trying to get one in Bolton as they know everywhere booked up as we're a hotspot.

'It's a shambles.'

Key workers have revealed their frustration at being turned away from London's only walk-in coronavirus testing centre.

A primary school worker and a construction engineer said they could not understand why they could not undergo the five-minute examination at the East London Covid-19 testing centre.

And parents revealed how they had been offered a test 175-miles away from their

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