Father turned away from Covid test centre after driving two hours with children

A father of two drove two hours with his children for a coronavirus test only to be told the site had run out.

Steve Hynd drove from Machynlleth to Telford with his one-year-old and three-year-old, arriving five minutes before the end of his 30-minute time slot.

But instead of undergoing a test, Mr Hynd, who lost his father to Covid-19 in May, was told to turn around and go back home.

He told Good Morning Britain the government must be clearer in their messaging.

“It was (an) incredibly mixed picture what was happening. Very confused, a lot of people upset, but essentially we were told that the site was just closed,” he said.

“We were told that they had run out of tests.”

Explaining why he wanted to get a test done, Mr Hynd said: “For me, both my two children had coughs, so I was trying to follow the government advice.

“They say if you have a new and continuous cough, you should go for a test. I think it’s also a moral responsibility.

“If there’s any chance of track and trace working, we all need to go and have tests and we need to make sure that happens. It’s about protecting everybody around you.”

A testing centre at Bradford University in West Yorkshire Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

He said he is “absolutely furious” with the government and warned people cannot be expected to get it right with the “many mixed messages”.

Mr Hynd, whose father died in a care home, criticised the health secretary Matt Hancock.

Steve Hynd was critical of Matt Hancock. Credit: PA

When asked how he felt about Mr Hancock boasting around the “protective ring” the government put around care homes, Mr Hynd said: “It makes me incredibly upset.

“When I went to pick up my Dad’s possessions from the care home, I spoke to the assistant manager there and if I could get Matt Hancock to look in her eyes and feel the level of hurt she felt.

“She felt so helpless to not be able to stop the people that she was looking after from dying… it was utterly heartbreaking.”

He also paid tribute to NHS staff for their care of his father but he had a warning for the government.

“The coronavirus stripped us of Dad and being unable to be with him in the last weeks of his life and ultimately the incompetence that I see from this track and trace system is going to lead to more deaths,” he said.

“We need to be honest about that.”