City council leader and MPs write to Health Secretary over key worker testing concerns

Concerns have been raised with the Health Secretary about access to coronavirus testing in Stoke-on-Trent for key workers.

The issue was raised during a Government daily briefing last month, that some people from the city were having to travel to a testing site at Manchester Airport - when they lived minutes away from the centre at Stoke City's bet365 Stadium.

The Army set up a mobile testing station at bet365’s Festival Park site hours later.

Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, says an application was made for the stadium site to be upgraded to ‘regional’ status, meaning key workers and their families would be able to book a test there through the Government’s website.

But she has written a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, saying that it has been refused by the Department of Health 'with limited explanation as to why'.

MP for Stoke North, Jonathan Gullis, says he has also written to Matt Hancock to share his concerns - saying he is 'at a loss' at the decision.

He has asked for a detailed explanation, and implored the Government to reconsider.

Aaron Bell, member for Newcastle, backed calls for the Stoke City site to be upgraded to full regional status as soon as possible.

He says he has also written to the Department of Health.

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