Public Health England said that as of 9am on Monday, there had been a further 2,621 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. In recent weeks there have been concerns coronavirus cases are on the rise, and last week it was reported the R number has risen above 1 for the first time in months. With demand for coronavirus tests increasing, many are reporting difficulties in booking a testing slot in England.
The Government states it has capacity for 375,000 coronavirus tests a day.
However many are finding there are no tests available when they try to book via the Government website.
According to the Sunday Times, leaked Health and Social Care documents show there was a backlog of 185,000 tests.
The publication also reported some tests were being sent to Italy and Germany for processing to help cope with the demand.
Sarah-Jane Marsh, the director of testing at NHS Test and Trace, apologised for testing issues last week.
She said: “Can I please offer my heartfelt apologies to anyone who cannot get a COVID test at present.
“All of our testing sites have capacity, which is why they don’t look overcrowded, it’s our laboratory processing that is the critical pinch-point.”
She added: “We are doing all we can to expand quickly.”
Only people with coronavirus symptoms, or those who have been told to get tested, should be requesting coronavirus tests.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week: “We are increasing our testing capacity further to meet rising demand.
“You can help by only booking a test if you have a fever, a new continuous cough, or you’ve lost your sense of taste or smell – if you don’t have those symptoms and haven’t been asked to book a test, please don’t.”
Coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and/or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
To travel to another country which requires a coronavirus test, you should pay for a private test.
You can also request a test if you’re taking part in a Government pilot project, live in England and need a test before you go into hospital, or if your local council asks you to get tested.
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How to get a coronavirus test
If you suspect you have COVID-19 symptoms, you need to get a test done within the first five days of getting symptoms.
In many cases, people are able to book and be tested on the same day.
Once you have an appointment, you can visit a test site where you will be given instructions on how to carry out the swab test.
How to get a home test kit
If you cannot get to a test site, you can also request a home test kit.
Everyday home tests kits are being made available, so check back on the website if you cannot book a test straight away.
The NHS website states: “If you cannot get a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours.”
Test appointments and home test kits can be booked via the Government’s dedicated testing website.
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