Coronavirus tests not available in some of worst Covid-19 affected areas of England

Credit: PA Images

Tests for coronavirus were not available in some of England’s worst affected areas on Wednesday - with some people offered slots well over 50 miles away.

It was not possible to book a Covid-19 test in Bolton - which currently has the highest infection rate in England - on Wednesday morning.

But those trying to book a test in Hyndburn were offered a walk-through in Bolton at Mere Hall car park, as well as a drive-through at Royal Blackburn Hospital, according to the Government website.

Coronavirus tests were also not available in other parts of the North West, where some areas remain under local restrictions.

As of Wednesday morning, it was not possible to book a test in Preston, which has the third highest infection rate in the country, and Oldham, which has the fourth.

Tests were also not available on the Government website in the remainder of 10 local authorities with surging cases, which are Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Tameside, Warrington and Knowsley.

It was also not possible to book a slot in Liverpool, Wirral, Bury or Salford, which are all areas within the top 20 highest infection rates in England.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

In St Helens, a drive-through test was offered at Royal Blackburn Hospital, while a walk-through was offered at New Bury Community Centre car park in Farnworth, Bolton.

A drive-through test nearly 53 miles away at Uttoxeter Racecourse Stables car park was offered to those trying to book a test in Rochdale, as well as a walk-through at Railway Road car park in Darwen.

  • ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman with the latest on testing times for Bolton

One woman who lives in Leicester, which recorded 306 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, one of the sharpest increases in any city in the UK, said she had been unable to book a test for her son.

Callan Glover said she had been seeking a test for six-year-old Arlo Schlupp, who had previously needed to shield for medical reasons, since Monday.

The 30-year-old said the Government website was unable to provide her with a home test and offered her a test centre over 400 miles away in Aberdeen.

On Tuesday, she paid £125 for Arlo to be tested privately and he was seen within the hour, with results expected within 48 hours.

"I felt I had no choice as I am concerned for his health," she said.

"He also has had five positive cases in his school over the last few days. I can only assume there are many more cases but we can’t test our children.

"It’s made me very frustrated. We knew the kids were going back to school … we shouldn’t be paying privately."

  • Hear the frustrations of some seeking tests in Bolton

Meanwhile, the PA news agency found that as of Wednesday morning, those trying to book a test in Bradford, which has recorded a sharp increase in its seven-day rate, were told to try again later.

There was a similar picture in Fencehouses near Sunderland, where an outbreak has been linked to a working men’s club, as those booking tests were told to return later.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics