A coronavirus test centre at Basingstoke hospital has had a quiet day, despite people struggling to book tests. 

Last week we asked our social media readers to share their experience with booking coronavirus tests locally.

Out of the 76 people who told us about their experience just two had managed to get a local test with ease.

So we decided to go and see how busy the local test site really was.

This site at Basingstoke hospital is not open to the public and is for staff only, a spokesman for Hampshire Hospitals confirmed.

They said members of the public are not able to book a Covid-19 test at the hospital.

The Gazette has asked Hampshire Hospitals and the Department of Health where the nearest public testing facilities are. 

On Tuesday, Basingstoke hospital nurses were working to test staff at the drive-in centre.

In the 20 minutes that the Gazette was at the centre, five cars pulled in to get tested. 

When the Gazette arrived 1.45pm there were two cars already at the test centre, a single man was tested and then a family of four with two young children.

A further three cars arrived after than in the 20 minute period, with a single female, a single male and a mother and her teen son.

There were no queues or contant stream of people.

Tony Reardon had trouble booking a test last week, he said: “Took us about 27 hours to book a test after trying several times an hour over that period. Finally had to drive 103 Miles to Ashford, Kent to have it done... absolute joke!”

Other residents have been unable to book tests locally and at times the booking website has even shown there are no test available to book.

A search on the government website for the postcode of Basingstoke Festival Place (RG21 7BA), carried out at 3:45pm on Friday, September 11, produced the result 'No test sites found'. 

Cllr Keith Mans, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “We know that due to high demand, some Hampshire residents are experiencing delays in securing a test via the national booking system, or getting their results back, but it’s imperative that anyone with symptoms absolutely must come forward to get tested as this will help to stop the spread of the virus.

“It is equally important that those who do not have symptoms, refrain from booking a test – as this is pushing demand higher than it needs to be and could limit the opportunity for people who really need one. A recent survey at testing sites suggests around a quarter of people who have accessed tests did not have symptoms."