Fri, 11 Sept 2020
Newbury MP Laura Farris has asked whether coronavirus testing can be prioritised to allow people in certain job roles to be tested sooner.
Addressing the Commons yesterday (Thursday), Mrs Farris said: "A successful return to school in West Berkshire has been matched with a reduction in the availability of testing.
"If there is a reluctance to impose more stringent eligibility criteria, would he consider an order of priority based on, for example, working parents and teachers being able to access tests sooner?"
Mrs Farris' question follows reports of people requesting Covid-19 tests being told to travel across the country.
People in West Berkshire have reported trying to access the testing facility at Newbury Showground, only to be given slots in Inverness, the Lake District, Leicester or the Isle of Wight.
In response to the Newbury MPs question secretary of state for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Again, there has not been a reduction in capacity in Berkshire or anywhere else in the country. There has been an increase in capacity.
"My hon. friend makes a good point, though, about prioritisation.
"The question is how to enforce prioritisation without putting in place barriers that slow down access to tests for people who need them. We are looking at that now."