Securing a slot for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test is no easy task.
According to the latest government figures released last week, around 220,000 tests are processed each day, with a testing capacity of more than 350,000 – which includes swab tests and antibody tests – and the aim is to increase that to 500,000 a day by the end of October.
This isn’t quite the case at the moment though however.
An increase in demand for tests over the past few weeks has led to local shortages – particularly in Greater Manchester – with some people being directed to test sites hundreds of miles from their homes.
Addressing the situation in the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the system is facing an “enormous challenge” after a “sharp rise” in those seeking a test. He admitted that there were a number of current “operational challenges” with the testing process, which the government was “working hard” to fix.
He continued: “I don’t deny that it is an enormous challenge and when you have a free service it’s inevitable that demand rises.
“The challenge is to make sure that we prioritise the tests we have as a nation to those who most need it.”
Here at The Manc, we always want to hear the viewpoints and experiences of our audience.
After observing the ongoing nationwide conversation around the difficulty many are experiencing in securing slots for coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, we were keen to take a more regional look and find out how Greater Manchester residents have found the process, so we took to Twitter this morning to ask: Has anyone in Greater Manchester struggled to get a coronavirus test?
How’s the process been in general?
In response to our question, we received a range of responses from residents across the region detailing their own personal experiences, particularly with relation to the online booking system and how easy it is to use, booking tests over the phone, the range of slots available and of course, the location of testing centres.
Overall, the responses were mixed, although it is fair to say that the majority did seem to indicate some level of dissatisfaction with the process.
In the words of one response, it’s “stressful”.
While it is hard to disguise the dissatisfaction expressed by many, it’s not all doom and gloom as we did receive a few replies reporting positive experiences with the booking system.
One resident even offered a few top tips for others when booking a test locally and indicated that the key may be to simply keep refreshing the page.
Interested in checking out the rest of the responses?
Keen to have your say?
We unfortunately were not able to include every reply to our question in this article, but there’s still time to chip in, so make sure you head on over to @TheMancUK to read the other responses, leave your thoughts and discuss with other Mancunians in the same or different positions to you.
Molly-Mae and Tommy shared their happy news about their new arrival with a joint post last night, showing a black and white photo of the trio in hospital, captioned with the date of their baby’s birth – 23/01/23.
She then added further updates and adorable photos in her Instagram stories, writing: “One week old today. I can’t believe we get to keep you forever.
“Becoming your mum has been the best thing to ever happen to me… it doesn’t seem possible but my love for you grows with each passing moment.
“There is no feeling like holding you in my arms little one, my heart literally explodes.
“Thank you for entering the world safely for us and blessing us with the gift of being your parents.
“We promise to love and care for you unconditionally forever.”
Tommy posted: “I’ll protect you forever my little girl.”
Featured image: Instagram, @mollymae
Manchester Airport is hiring 1,500 new staff in preparation for a ‘busy summer’
Manchester Airport is looking to recruit 1,500 new staff members across the security, customer services, car parks, hospitality, and other sectors.
It’s all in preparation for what the Airport expects to be another “busy summer”.
Having already more recruited more than 700 new staff last year, the UK’s third largest airport wants to give potential new staff a taste at what it’s like to work there by hosting its very-own careers fair at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday 7 February to showcase all the roles on offer within a wide range of sectors and companies inside the premises.
The Airport is preparing for a busy summer season as it enters its first full year free of COVID-related restrictions since 2019.
A total of 1,500 roles are on offer within sectors such as customer services, security, hospitality, and car parking.
More than 25 other firms with operations at the Airport will also be taking part in the jobs fair.
Some of these companies include restaurants and retailers like Boots, Costa Coffee, JD Sport, World Duty Free, Wagamama, and Barburrito, as well as within airline and package holiday provider, Jet2.com, aviation service providers, including Seetec Plus, Menzies Aviation, ABM, Swissport, DNATA, ICTS UK LTD, and Excess Baggage, and several housekeeping service providers.
The Manchester Airport Academy will also be at the careers fair to give people an insight into its pre-employment support courses – which include fully-accredited training schemes for those on jobseekers allowances, who need additional assistance prior to applying for jobs.
Attendees at the jobs fair will get the chance to engage directly with employers, put any questions they may have to those who are recruiting, and boost their chances of getting a job at the Airport.
They’ll also get to learn more about what employers are looking for from applicants.
Successful applicants will get to take advantage of a wide range of employee benefits on offer at Manchester Airport Group (MAG) – which include everything from discounts on public transport when commuting, and free on-site car parking whilst working and when going on holiday, to an excellent pension scheme, training programmes, retail discounts, and so much more.
Speaking ahead of the jobs fair next week, Chris Woodroofe – Managing Director at Manchester Airport – said: “This is always an exciting time of year for us, as we look to welcome new colleagues on board ahead of the busy summer season.
“There is a wide range of opportunities available and I look forward to meeting the successful job-seekers out-and-about at the airport, following on from this event.”