A CARER was astonished to be told she would have to travel to Wales to get an urgent coronavirus test.

Linda Melton-Brooks, 54, suffers from a lung condition. When it flared up last month, her GP urged her to get a test to rule out Covd-19.

But the government’s online booking system informed her she would have to go to Newport, South Wales, to get a test – almost 200 miles away from her home in Saltdean.

After waiting for a slot closer to home, Linda was eventually offered one at Gatwick Airport on September 1 – but then said she had to wait seven days for her results to come back negative. The government says it should take 72 hours.

Linda, who works as a carer for two young people, said: “It’s just a nightmare. You couldn’t make it up. I was really worried.

“Nobody’s going to go as far as Wales. How is anyone supposed to get tested?”

Number 10 has faced a storm of criticism over failings with its testing programme. It has been reported that the government now plans to ration swabs amid what critics are calling a “disaster” as cases surge and winter approaches.

Last week, The Argus heard that people in Brighton were being told to get a ferry to the Isle of Wight for a test.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended the government’s record, saying the UK has “done more tests than any other European country”.

But Linda was unimpressed.

“It’s completely bonkers,” she said. “People need to know the system is not working.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “It is disappointing to hear of someone having a poor experience accessing testing.

“NHS Test and Trace is working and the overwhelming majority of people report no issues with the process, with support available via 119 should anyone need it. Over 17 million tests have been delivered so far and we are aiming to grow capacity to 500,000 tests per day by the end of October.”