The government website set up to let key workers and their families book a free coronavirus test has stopped accepting applications after a flood of demand.
Those hoping to book a test are met by the message: “Applications closed. You can’t currently register for a Covid-19 test. Please check back here later.” The website stopped accepting applications around 10:00am this morning.
The government’s allocation of 1,000 home test kits for key workers ran out before 9am, with users told to book a test at a drive-through centre instead. But soon, key workers were also unable to book a drive-through test. Sky News reported that tens of thousands of booking slots were initially available.
The Department of Health and Social Care apologised “for any inconvenience”, and said more tests will be available tomorrow.
There has been significant demand for booking tests today.
We apologise for any inconvenience.
We are continuing to rapidly increase availability. More tests will be available tomorrow.
— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) April 24, 2020
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that any key worker or member of their family with symptoms would be able to book a free test through the website. The system would help the government achieve its goal of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of the month, he said.