People sent to Covid testing site in Sevenoaks which didn't exist

People turned up to the site in Sevenoaks and found it was shut. Credit: ITV News Meridian

There was confusion in Kent at the weekend as people with suspected Covid-19 were sent to a testing site in Sevenoaks which did not exist.

Baffled motorists formed queues and drove around the park and ride site at Otford for up to an hour, before realising the testing site, which had shown on the government website, had never opened.

The Department for Health and Social Care says it is aware of the issue which has now been resolved and people are being redirected to the correct testing site.

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Kent County Council and Sevenoaks District Council had previously offered the site as a potential location for a mobile testing unit in response to rising rates of Covid-19 in the area.

However, a site visit has not yet been carried out by the Government's testing team, despite bookings being accepted on the national portal.


We regret the inconvenience caused to residents who made appointments and have made a wasted journey and advise those people with bookings to arrange a postal test, or rebook at another site.

Spokesperson, Kent County Council

The Leader of Sevenoaks District Council posted a statement on Facebook on Sunday about the error which he said was causing "significant stress to those turning up to find the site not in operation".

The Department for Health and Social Care said: "NHS Test and Trace is providing tests at the unprecedented scale of more than 270,000 tests per day nationally and we are on track to achieve capacity for 500,000 tests a day by the end of October."