Responding to reports from constituents that they were having difficulty getting Covid tests, Theresa Villiers MP has issued the following statement:
"It is worrying that some of my constituents are finding it difficult to get Covid tests. I appreciate the distress and concern that these delays must be causing.
There has been a very big increase in testing capacity. The latest data shows UK is currently doing more testing than other comparable countries – for every 1,000 people we are testing 2.54 people each day (Germany tests 1.88, Spain tests 1.91, and France tests 1.89). Testing is available in all parts of the country and most people who need tests have been able to book them. But unfortunately the local and national increase demand for testing has meant that some people have not.
When constituents started to report problems with testing, I immediately contacted Barnet Council for an update on local testing facilities; I tabled Parliamentary Questions on testing in Barnet; and I spoke to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. The Government is committed to urgent action to further expansion of testing, speeding up results, and ensuring those with the greatest need for tests are given the highest priority.
Earlier in the pandemic, I worked to get care homes in my constituency access to the tests they needed. I will continue to urge Ministers to get these current problems sorted out so that everyone who needs a test can get one. I know that Barnet Council are doing what they can to assist with this locally, including provision of mobile testing units, and I am in regular contact with the Chief Executive to help where I can."
The following update was posted by Barnet Council on their Facebook page yesterday:
"The mobile COVID-19 testing unit returns to Barnet this week. Find it from 10.30am-3.30pm at:
🔷 Barnet House on Wednesday 16 September
🔷 Brent Cross Shopping Centre on Saturday 19 September.
All appointments must be booked in advance: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Appointments are limited so keep trying.
ONLY BOOK IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS: new, continuous cough 🤧; high temperature 🤒; loss of or change to sense of taste or smell 👃👄.
Local slots for any particular day of testing become available for booking online from 6pm the day before. You can book a slot for the same day at any time up until 11am on the day itself.
You should be tested within the first three days of showing symptoms. The test is best taken within five days of symptoms starting. If you have symptoms, apply to take a test as soon as possible.
You can have a test on-foot or in a vehicle – if you’re arriving on-foot, just write ‘Unknown’ in the vehicle registration box."