Some people in Hertfordshire have been having problems booking a coronavirus test due to capacity issues, health officials have said.

Herts Valleys CCG says that recently the service has been busy - and residents may have had problems booking due to capacity issues in the laboratories that process the results.

It said that new testing slots are added hourly and that additional laboratory capacity is being added, but for now areas of the country where there are significant outbreaks are being prioritised.

And following recent problems with booking a coronavirus test, the CCG is urging people who have no symptoms of COVID-19 to not book a test.

The CCG said doing so “only makes it harder for people with symptoms to get the test they need”.

Local GP and chair of Herts Valleys CCG Dr Nicolas Small said: “We are worried that after a summer of declining numbers of cases, some people have forgotten that they must stay at home if they or someone they live with has possible COVID-19 symptoms.

“If you think you might have coronavirus, it is really important that you self-isolate at home and book a test. Things to look for are a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a change in your sense of smell or taste. If you have any one of those symptoms, don’t leave the house at all, book a test and then self-isolate for 10 days or until your test result gives you the all clear.”

Hertfordshire County Council has confirmed that NHS England have been tasked to bring more testing into the area to keep up with testing demands following a surge of new cases in Hertsmere.

The borough has been listed as an "area of concern" by Public Health England following an outbreak of Covid-19.


This week Sarah-Jane Marsh, the director of the government’s test and trace programme in England, issued an apology for problems with the coronavirus testing system.

The director explained that they are working to “expand quickly” as testing sites reached capacity.

Dr Nicolas Small from Herts Valleys CCG said: “Together we’ve done a good job of reducing cases from the levels we saw back in April.

“Now we all have to keep up the good work and prevent a second surge. We all need to play our part to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe and well. We must keep socially distancing, washing our hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, and wearing a face covering according to the guidance. Anyone who feels unwell should call or go online to 111 for advice rather than going to their GP or hospital.”

People are required to stay at home if anyone in their household has COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have been told they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

Anyone living with someone with suspected COVID-19 must not leave the home for any reason for 14 days from the time that their family member or housemate started showing signs of the virus.

People can book a coronavirus test here -