Coronavirus test site in Cornwall had ‘only one car’ – but man told to go home

A MAN says he was told he couldn’t have a coronavirus test when he arrived at a site in Cornwall – despite there being “only one car” there.

Jon, from Camborne, who asked for his surname to be withheld, said it was a “nightmare”.

He told the Packet: “What a nightmare I’ve just had regarding a covid test.

“Having developed a fever and high temperature I felt obliged to book myself in.

“The booking system is shocking.

“The nearest test site was saying Launceston, even though I had been told a test centre was in Falmouth.

“After many attempts over a 24-hour period I finally managed to book a slot for 3pm on Wednesday (September 16).

“The site asked for car registration, date of birth, landline, mobile, email, occupation and employer. I got to the end where it said once confirmed you cannot change the appointment, clicked ‘confirm’ and I figured ‘job done’.

“I then set off in good time, as it’s an hour and 10 minutes drive, something I wasn’t looking forward to seeing as I’m feeling pretty rough.

“On arrival I was asked for QR code. This apparently should have been emailed or text to me. I checked my messages and email, but nothing had been received.

“Without it they wouldn’t test me.

“The worst of it is that there was only one car in the rugby club that appeared to be getting their test.

“Despite the clear availability they still wouldn’t test me.

“Feeling very upset having made the journey, I stepped out of the car to get some fresh air and I was asked to get back in my car.

“I also tried to take a picture of the site to show the lack of testing going on and the two people at the entrance were very hostile towards me, stopping me taking a picture and ordered me back to my car.”

Jon said he was trying to rebook, but so far the website was saying there were no test sites available.

He added: “The overall process is a shambles, there doesn’t appear to be another way of booking a test. This leaves me completely in limbo until I can get something confirmed online. Probably another 24 hours of logging back into the government website hoping to get another slot.”

There have been multiple reports of people being unable to get a coronavirus test across Cornwall and Cornwall Council has called for “urgent changes”.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “NHS Test and Trace is working, our capacity is the highest it has ever been but we are seeing a significant demand for tests.

“New booking slots and home testing kits are made available daily for people with symptoms and we are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, and prioritising at-risk groups.

“Our laboratories are processing more than a million tests a week and we recently announced new facilities and technology to process results even faster. If you do not have symptoms and are not eligible to get a test you can continue to protect yourself if you wash your hands, wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.”