Residents are finding it hard to get covid tests as the R number rises above 1 nationally.

The coronavirus reproduction number - also known as the R value - has risen above 1 across the UK for the first time since early March.

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New data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R across the UK is between 1.0 and 1.2.

At the same time, the Department for Health published results of an Imperial College study which says the reproduction number R is estimated to be 1.7.

However, in Bracknell residents with symptoms have struggled to get tested.

Last week, the Bracknell News reported how some people were told to drive "miles" to get a coronavirus test.

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Some residents also explained how there were no available options to book a test.

Bracknell News:

Mia Thomas commented on our story on September 10. She said: "Tried booking a test today and the nearest centre was 79 miles away - the service is a disaster."

Another woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "I asked for a test a few weeks ago and they asked me to travel from Bracknell to Leicester for it and I don't drive wouldn't even offer me a home test. "They did they said its because they couldn't identify me which I filled all the information correctly and got forwarded somewhere else only to be refused because they can't confirm my identity."

Bracknell Forest Council says it understands the 'frustrations' of people who are struggling to get local COVID-19 tests.

Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, chairman of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board, said: “We completely understand the frustrations of residents who have symptoms but are unable to access local tests. The testing shortage is a national issue that is impacting us here in Bracknell Forest, with some residents being advised to travel miles for a test.

“If you do not have symptoms please do not apply for a test, this will help to reduce the demand. If you do have symptoms and can’t get one locally, please do try again in a couple of hours as more local slots may have opened up in that time."

In our online poll, 30 people responded and 17 per cent of people said they struggled to book a test.

27 per cent of people said they were able to get a test and 27 per cent also said they were given a test "too far away".

30 per cent said they haven't bothered trying to book a Covid-19 test.

National demand for testing is now higher than laboratory capacity.

This is leading to problems with people being tested across the country.

New bookings are sometimes unavailable at busy times or people are offered options far from their home.

According to the Sage figures, the R value is 1.0-1.2 in the South East. R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow rapidly.

The number of newly diagnosed cases continues to rise, with higher incidence seen in young people aged 18 to 24 years.