Home Secretary Priti Patel arrives for a Cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, September 8, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Amid reports that people living in virus hot-spots and staff at hospitals and care homes have been struggling to get tested for coronavirus in recent days, home secretary Priti Patel has said that tests are available for people in their local areas.

“The majority of tests are available within a 10 mile radius,” Patel told BBC Breakfast TV this morning (September 15), although she conceded that in some extreme cases people wouldn’t be able to get a test locations within that radius.

She added: “It is wrong to say tests are not available. New booking slots are being made available every single day. Mobile test units are being made available. And on top of that, testing kits are being issued across the country but specifically in local lockdown areas.”

Patel said that people needed to help stop the spread of the disease, and that included calling the police on neighbours. She even suggested that families should not mingle with friends they bumped into on the street.

“If I saw something that I thought was inappropriate, then quite frankly I would effectively call the police,” she told Sky News.

“It’s not about dobbing in neighbours, I think it’s all about us taking personal responsibility. If there was a big party taking place, it would be right to call the police.”
Asked to define “mingling” – also not allowed under the new rules – she said it was “people coming together” and that if two families of four stopped for a chat in the street they would be infringing the law.
“It is mingling, I think it’s absolutely mingling,” she told BBC radio. (With Reuters)

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