Inverness and Leicester are just some of the places people in Watford have been offered as the nearest place to get a coronavirus test.

Readers have been speaking about their experiences of trying to book a COVID-19 test, with some people across Hertfordshire having been offered 1,000-mile round trips to Scottish cities.

Last week Herts Valleys CCG said the service had been busy recently - 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.

Earlier this week we asked people in our area how they got on trying to book a coronavirus test and if they ran into any problems getting somewhere local.

Vicky Acreman said: “Initially Inverness came up, but then later that evening managed to book Slough.”

Another reader said her mother was also offered a test up in Scotland.

Caroline Morri said: “My mum was offered Aberdeen, Dundee or Inverness about a week ago.”

Watford Observer:

The route from Watford to Inverness

However, she said her mum was able to get a home test kit.

Jarmila Vajdova-Okeke said she was only offered centres in Leicester and south London to get a test.

Watford Observer:

Jarmila Vajdova-Okeke

She said: “Been trying for over a day, only options that came up were Leicester and South London , both almost two hours drive. So now I have four kids stuck at home until negative results come through.”

She added that she nearly was able to book a test at Heathrow on Thursday morning, although the website crashed.

Susan Gaszczak said that when she tried to book a test she was initially offered Kettering in Northamptonshire.

She said: “Got Kettering... 3.5 hours in the car... then the school wanted a negative result to allow child back to school and got Hatfield. But no symptoms means we just clogged up a space for those with symptoms. It also took all day and they kept offering Southampton.”

Other places people say they have been offered include Heathrow Airport, Cardiff and near-by Welwyn Garden City, although some people have said they are able to get a home test kit.

Cllr Asif Khan, North Watford county councillor and Leggatts councillor, said the "lack of tests is dangerous”.

He said: “The whole agenda of reopening schools and businesses is dependent on these tests. Our residents are struggling to get tests on the government system, but if they are lucky they are asked to got to Manchester or Cardiff.

“As of yesterday, Watford is also now in track and trace pilot area. How can you do pilot testing when there’s a lack of tests?

“With winter approaching, the lack of tests is dangerous. What else has this government failed to prepare for?”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that there was not enough coronavirus testing capacity.

He told the Commons Liaison Committee on Wednesday: “We don’t have enough testing capacity now because, in an ideal world, I would like to test absolutely everybody that wants a test immediately.”

He promised that there would be capacity for 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.

But he urged people without symptoms to stay away from testing centres – although he acknowledged the reasons why they may want to find out if they had COVID-19.

“What has happened is demand has massively accelerated just in the last couple of weeks,” he told MPs.