Richmond Council has demanded that the Government “sort out” its Coronavirus testing programme, after residents struggle to access tests nearby.

Currently Richmond is home to a drive-in testing centre at Twickenham Stadium (which is due to close at the end of September) and a mobile testing centre.

However, reports across the country - including in Richmond - suggest that the current demand in testing is outweighing supply, with people told to travel miles for tests.

Twickenham made national news this week when a loophole was found in the system, which allowed residents to register a Scottish postcode to access a local testing site.

Though the glitch has now been fixed, many were outraged that a postcode 400 miles away was needed for a site on their doorstep.

Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Gareth Roberts, has voiced concern over the shortages.

“We know there have been some challenges with regards to people getting a test. If they call then they are on hold for hours, or if they go online, they either can’t get a test, or they are offered tests in absurd locations. I know one resident was offered a test in Aberdeen!

“This whole thing has led to a lot of concern in the community and risks undoing all the hard work that we’ve done to engage local people and encourage them to follow the rules and if they show symptoms, self-isolate and get a test.

“We are working hard to try and find additional testing sites in the borough, but the Government moves so slowly. If we stand any chance of ridding this country of Coronavirus, the Government needs to step up. They promised us a ‘world beating’ testing regime, whereas what we’ve been given would struggle to progress beyond the regional heats,” he said.

Whilst the Government has warned that problems with testing capacity might last a few weeks, the Council has reminded residents to only get a test if they are displaying symptoms or they have been advised by a professional or their employer to do so.

They warned this does not involve people who have been abroad, who are looking to avoid a post-holiday quarantine.

And that those with symptoms should not go to A&E to ask for a test.

Cllr Roberts added:

"Of course, we don't want to put people off getting a test, I see it as a civic duty, but it is important that we work as a collective to get access to tests. We want Richmond upon Thames to thrive, but we just need to make sure it is done in a safe way."