I have received a large number of comments from constituents who are struggling to get a local covid-19 test when they experience symptoms, and I understand that this extremely frustrating.
Residents have also expressed their frustrations that people here are being encouraged to book a test when they do not have any symptoms.
It is important that tests are available for people who need them, and not being taken unnecessarily by others who have no symptoms but who just want to get one anyway. People rightly understand that this is putting a huge strain on testing labs.
The system needs to test people with symptoms so that we can effectively identify those who have contracted covid-19 so that they and their close contacts can self-isolate and protect others.
I want those who need a test to be able to get one as quickly and as locally as possible. Therefore, I am glad that Government has stepped in to stop the unnecessary testing of people who have no covid-19 symptoms, allowing those tests to be given to people who really need them.
Walk-in tests are no longer available but you can book a test by visiting http://nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119, but please remember that you must have symptoms and you must book before attending the test centre.