A SHORTAGE of coronavirus PCR tests in England has seen people turn to Wales to get their tests done.

People in England are unable to book PCR tests at walk-in and drive-in centres currently, which has led to people from Herefordshire are turning to Wales.

It comes as pharmacies have revealed a "huge" problem due to a lack of lateral flow tests.

The chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies has said patients are often unable to find the Covid-19 tests in pharmacies because of low and "inconsistent" supplies.

People commented on a post on the Facebook page Ross-on-Wye Noticeboard saying they had gone to Ebbw Vale, near Merthyr Tydfil, in South Wales.

Gavin Jones, of Ross-on-Wye, booked his test at 7am today (December 29) and was at the centre for 9am.

Ollie Tingle said: "My only option was Ebbw Vale; I had no other choice. I had to get a PCR test at my employers request."

Others commented that they had booked one in Monmouth but that the centre was not open there today.

The government website shows Ebbw Vale, which is about an hour's drive (35.9 miles) from Hereford city centre, is the closest centre with tests available.

It is a drive-through test centre and this morning it had more than 1,000 appointments available.

Cardiff City Stadium, an hour and a half's drive and 63.6 miles away, is the next closest.

The shortage of PCR tests, those for people with Covid symptoms and processed by a laboratory, and lateral flow devices has continued over recent days.

Officials acknowledged that during periods of exceptional demand there could be “temporary pauses” in ordering or receiving tests, in an attempt to manage distribution across the system.

The reduced postal system over Christmas has also added to the issues.

But Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitted there were global supply issues to a senior Tory MP.

Sir Roger Gale told the PA news agency that Mr Javid had confessed there was a problem with supplies – previously ministers and officials had insisted they had sufficient stocks but the problems were in delivering them to people’s homes or pharmacies.