A MOTHER has been told to travel 600 miles for a coronavirus test for herself and her teenage son because none are available locally. 

The concerned mother from the Weymouth area, who asked not to be named, said she has repeatedly attempted to book a drive-through coronavirus test after her son developed a ‘really bad sore throat and cough’ at the weekend.

Her doctor has advised her and her son to be tested for coronavirus but said she has been left frustrated with being unable to book a test locally. 

Department of Health and Social Care say there is currently a high demand for tests and noted it is targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most.

The mother said: “He has got a really bad sore throat and cough and he said he wanted to go to bed.

“I thought it was a chest infection but I called the doctor who said to get a coronavirus test for him and myself as soon as possible. 

“I have been trying to book a test and I cannot get through. The website keeps crashing and the number provided just rings out and doesn’t get answered.” 

She said that she has been frequently trying to book a drive-through or walk-in test on the government’s website. 

When she was eventually able to receive a list of test centres, she was told to either travel 584 miles to Aberdeen International Airport or 604 miles to University of Highlands and Islands in Inverness. Either journey would take more than 10 hours to complete.

A recent attempt by a Dorset Echo reporter threw up two results – either to travel 127.5 miles to Lee Valley Athletics Park in London with one slot available in the next five days. Alternatively, Telford Ironbridge Park and Ride has two slots available in the next five days and is 141.1 miles away. 

The concerned mother has been left in disbelief by the process and is desperate to know if her son has caught coronavirus. She claims to have encountered similar issues when attempting to book a home test.

The 119 service, which is used to book a home test kit, has an automated message which apologises for a lack of tests and states the ‘available allocation has already been issued at this time’.

She added: “I have gone around in circles. You call the number and you are put on hold and it rings out. A person told me that there are system issues with booking tests. 

“If I cannot get a test, do I stay indoors and self-isolate for 14 days? I don’t know. I find it ridiculous.” 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Hundreds of thousands of people are being tested every day and new booking slots and home testing kits are being made available daily. 

“There is a high demand for tests and to help stop the spread of the virus we are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, as well as prioritising at-risk groups. 

“We have the capacity to test for coronavirus at an unprecedented scale. 

“We are expanding capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October, increasing the number of testing sites and bringing in new technology to process results faster.”