Family's fury as first holiday in 2 years cancelled over PCR testing fiasco

A MUM-OF-THREE has told how her family's first holiday in two years has been cancelled because of the West Country COVID testing fiasco.

Kate Williams said she had booked a week on the sunny beaches of the Algarve in Portugal but blames the government for the blunder.

She said her 10-year-old son tested positive for COVID-19 following a lateral flow test on October 5th.

The boy took a PCR test on the same day – but it came back negative, as did the rest of the family. 

But secondary school teacher Kate, who lives in Bristol, said the results were wrong.

"Over the next few days I began to feel unwell and as I had a positive lateral flow I continued to take PCR tests which came back negative," she said.

"After taking multiple PCR tests we finally received positive ones a week after our symptoms appeared and the government had obviously realised about the testing fiasco."

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Kate, who has two other kids aged five and eight, also says the family's COVID passports have now been removed from the NHS app and won't be reinstated until 12 days after a positive test. 

She said: "This means we can no longer go on the holiday we had planned for half term with our children, our first holiday since 2019, and much needed after teaching through this pandemic. We were going to the Algarve.

"Therefore because of the Government’s failure with its testing service we are now being penalised because it took so long for the positive PCR results to come through. 

"If we’d just accepted the first results as negative we’d be fine and going on holiday on Thursday. 

"Or, if the testing system had actually worked, we’d have received positive results on the 5th October and would still be going on holiday as enough time would have elapsed.

"It’s just another example of the absolute shambolic nature of everything to do with PCR testing and the passport scheme."

Kate says she plans to get a refund for their holiday and must break the news to her three children.

She added: "After two years of not traveling anywhere we're all in desperate need of a break, an escape from the everyday reality of living with COVID.

"It's just so frustrating how the government has handled testing, I just hope my experience can help someone else navigate their way through this."

Kate's holiday agony comes after it emerged around 43,000 people may have been wrongly told their COVID-19 test was negative because of errors at a private lab.

Testing at the Wolverhampton lab has been suspended following a probe by NHS Test and Trace.

The head of the UK Health Security Agency ordered an investigation into why it took more than a month to spot the failures.

Concerns were raised when people had positive lateral flow tests, but negative follow-up PCR results from the lab between September 8 and October 12 – and most affected live in the South West of England.

The number of COVID cases in the West Country have rocketed in the past week to above 5,500 per day, from around 2,500 a week earlier.

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