People traveled miles from England across the Welsh border after being told that PCR tests were not available where they lived.
Many people who wanted to get a PCR test were greeted with a red wall on the government’s online booking system, which showed that there were only vacancies at test centers in Wales and Scotland.
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Pictures from North Wales Live showed queues of humans arriving at the coronavirus testing facility at Deeside Industrial Estate after centers in the UK were listed as inaccessible on Tuesday morning and long queues remained during the day.
Social media users shared their frustration at taking the trip to Flintshire from Merseyside and Cheshire – with some traveling from as far away as Wigan in Greater Manchester.
Twitter user @whatsthatmoosic wrote: “I live in Wigan and have to travel to Deeside for a PCR because I tested positive for a lateral flow last night. Only Wales and Scotland have test sites.”
In a separate post, they added: “What happens if you do not live near Scotland or Wales? Basically you are f *** ed.”
Another, Alan Bradwell, told North Wales Live that he was traveling from Middleton in Manchester.
He said: “When I went online, the test portal said there were no tests available anywhere in the UK and that my nearest test center was in Deeside.”
However, he did not have to take a round trip of “just over 100 miles” to North Wales after requesting the booking at his local test center.
He continued: “I drove past my local test center and they were open.
“I asked if they had PCR tests available. They said they had, and they used my original appointment information to give me the test I needed.
“They confirmed that the website needed to be updated on availability.”
When North Wales Live checked the booking system at 12.00, all English test centers throughout the country showed that they had vacancies.
According to LancsLive, the government website said: “Tests must first go to essential workers, including the NHS and social workers. If you can not get a test now, try again later. You will not be able to get a test through the guides.”
A spokesman for the UK Health Safety Agency said: “The UK’s testing program is the largest in Europe with almost 400 million tests conducted since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We deliver a record number of lateral flow tests to pharmacies across the country, with almost eight million test kits being made available to pharmacies between today and New Year’s Eve.
“We have made 100,000 more PCR bookings available a day since mid-December, and we continue to expand capacity rapidly – with over half a million tests performed on December 23 alone and doubling delivery capacity to 900,000 PCR and LFD test set a day.
“If you have not been able to get the test you need from gov.uk, keep checking every few hours as more PCR and LFD tests become available each day.”
Have you struggled to get a coronavirus test? Tell us in the comments section below.