TESTING limitations at Montem Park risks putting Slough back on the watchlist, Slough’s MP has warned.

Last week, the council announced drop-ins by car at the hybrid testing site will no longer be accepted after the government instructed them to stop.

People wanting to walk-in have also been banned, meaning those who believe they have symptoms can only visit the centre by appointment only – but Slough Borough Council warned of shortages of appointments using the national system.

UK labs have seen a backlog in recent weeks leading the government to limit the number of slots at testing centres to ensure high-risk areas, like care homes or cities with a high infection rate, can be prioritised.

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Slough was taken off the government’s ‘area of concern’ list due to a drop in coronavirus cases within the area – but Tan Dhesi, Slough MP, has warned the government the borough could be placed back on the watchlist following the appointment-only move.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, the Labour politician said many concerned key workers and those who have displayed symptoms have been turned away from the walk-in centre or been told to travel ‘hundreds of miles’, such as the Isle of Wight, just to be tested due to capacity issues.

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Mr Dhesi said: “This decision not only completely undermines previous efforts made to keep control of the virus locally, but risks Slough being placed back on the watchlist.

“As you know, test, track and trace is the best weapon to tackle the coronavirus and local authorities desperately need the tools and resources to be able to implement this.

“Yet national lab capacity is limiting the vital work they do.”

He added: “How can this government warn of the dangers of a second wave of this deadly virus, yet fail to provide communities with the resources to tackle it effectively?”