Watford’s Mayor has written to the health secretary to “sort out” the problems people have been having booking a coronavirus test.

People across the country and in the town have had problems booking a test, with some Watford residents having been offered centres in Scotland, Southampton and Leicester.

Mayor Peter Taylor urged in a letter to Matt Hancock "to do all you can to ensure that our system rises to the standard needed in order to help keep the virus controlled and prevent a serious second wave”.

The letter added: “I am proud that Watford has stepped up to play its part in the local response to Covid19. We have made space for testing sites to be available in the town for residents but we too are seeing that the appointments system is causing great distress to those trying to get tests; with people being declined tests and others turning up to testing sites without appointments.

“This cannot continue and those needing tests should not be suffering further stress at an already worrying time.”

Recently it was announced that Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council will be piloting a local contact tracing initiative in a bid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Mr Taylor said that the “good work” taking place locally “can only be effective alongside a solid testing programme”.

After sending the letter, Mr Taylor said: “This is something which is reliant upon good leadership and direction from the Government.

“It is absolutely vital that we get this right. Everyone knows that having a proper testing system is vital to controlling the spread of this virus. At the moment people are struggling to book tests or being sent hundreds of miles to get one. There isn’t enough testing capacity and this is simply not good enough. The government must sort this out.”

Labour councillor Asif Khan 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?

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.