Plymouth Council leader brands Government's Coronavirus test booking system as 'shambolic'

Councillor Tudor Evans has written to the health secretary to voice his complaints Credit: ITV News West Country

The leader of Plymouth City Council has written to the Health Secretary to complain about difficulties some people in the city are having when attempting to book a coronavirus test.

The Council has been told about a number of examples of people requesting tests, but only being offered a test outside of the city, in places like Taunton and Launceston.“We have a drive-in testing site here in Plymouth and rumours of its demise are greatly exaggerated, "said Cllr Tudor Evans.

"It is very much open."

Yet we have been hearing reports of people being told they can’t get a test in Plymouth and are being offered places as far away as Taunton in Somerset - almost 75 miles away, and Launceston in Cornwall which is well over an hour’s travel by road.

Cllr Tudor Evans
The city has seen a recent spike in cases Credit: ITV News West Country

The city has seen a recent spike in cases after a number of people tested positive for the virus after coming back from a holiday on the Greek Island of Zante.

The advice for people who're struggling to get a more local test is to wait a short while and try and book again.

It comes as ministers try to push down outbreaks in other parts of the country where local lockdowns require increased resources.

This forms part of the reason why some people are having problems accessing testing in Plymouth.

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has acknowledged there have been some 'operational challenges' with the testing system. Credit: PA Images

The Health Secretary has acknowledged that there have been some 'operational challenges' with the testing system but that generally it is 'working well'.

The Government is working to further increase the daily testing capacity with an aim to have 500,000 tests available a day in the UK by the end of October.