In a question published on The Chronicle‘s website yesterday (September 16), 76 per cent of people who responded to the question ‘How was your experience booking a test?’ said ‘Rubbish – took ages and couldn’t get a slot’.
Another 21 per cent said it had been ‘quick and easy one they got through’ and three per cent said they didn’t even try, despite needing one.
Responding to the same question on The Chronicle‘s Facebook page, Benedict Bell said it was “impossible” to book a test.
This overwhelming majority represents the experience of many people across the town and around the country, who are in a process of isolating per government advice without knowing if they have Covid-19 or not.
It comes as many from across the town have shared their experiences of failing to get a test for either themselves or their children.
Parents in Reading have highlighted how this causes not only concerns over safety, but the additional stresses of having to take time off work or school while they await a test.
A local mother-of-two, who doesn’t want to be identified, has been left concerned for her children, who have developed symptoms but cannot get a test.
She said: “It’s quite disappointing to see that no plan was put in place for this.
“The government should have seen this coming with the schools reopening.
“How can we send our children back to school when we can see that there are no arrangements for their tests if they are sent back with any of the symptoms?
“I am really concerned about their safety.”
Leading Labour councillors in Reading have also expressed their fears that the town is at risk of local outbreaks if people don’t have easy access to a test nearby.
Many locals who have been offered slots have said that the sites are many miles away, such as at the Isle of Wight or Inverness, while many can’t get a test at all.