He said the Government is “increasing capacity”, with most people now able to get a Covid-19 test at their local drive-in centre.
Mr Hancock said on Monday September 7 that he has brought in a new national cap of 75 miles each way for the tests after a backlog led to people being told to drive hundreds of miles for their test last week.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted people may have to drive 75 miles each way for the tests after a backlog led to people being told to drive hundreds of miles for their test last week
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The UK government is sending Brits on 150-mile round trips to take coronavirus tests, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted.
But the Health Secretary admitted people can still be asked to drive up to a new 75-mile limit, which “is still quite a hike”.
On April 23, the Department of Health said: “The aim is that most people should not have to drive for more than 45 minutes to get to a regional testing site.”
Mr Hancock made the comment despite an earlier pledge saying people would not drive more than 45 minutes each way to get a test.
Home testing kits which get delivered to your door are also available, but some Covid-19 sufferers have reported struggling to get hold of them. Walk-in and satellite testing centres are also available.
But the new cap of 75 miles is far longer.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “What world do these Tories live in?
Despite the discrepancy, a Whitehall official today insisted both pledges were still valid. “We are increasing resources in areas that need it most,” the official added.
It is the equivalent of driving from London to Portsmouth or from Durham to York – then back again.
“What are people who can’t afford a car supposed to do? Those who work shifts and have childcare and other caring responsibilities? We were promised “world-beating”, Matt Hancock, not this shambles.”
Mr Hancock said the new cap was brought in over the past few days after “problems” meant people were told to drive hundreds of miles.
The Health Secretary told LBC Radio: “We’ve changed that now so that people get offered tests within 75 miles, which is still quite a hike if you need to.
Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth added: “Testing has become a fiasco – ill people struggle to access a test or told to travel miles and miles.”