One coughing child – and three fruitless trips to the same Covid test centre

A Guardian producer tries to get a coronavirus test for his daughter in south-east London

“Ladies and gentleman, I have some bad news: there are no more tests today,” the security guard tells a disbelieving queue of people, most with children, who have been waiting in the afternoon heat by a car park in Deptford, south-east London. I am among them, with my daughter Rosa who is coughing like many of the children there. It is the third time we have queued and been turned away in one day.

When I woke yesterday, Rosa had a mild cough. Over breakfast, as we were realising we would have to keep both our children off school and get tested, Priti Patel, the home secretary, came on the radio to tell us the test system was working, except in “extreme cases”.

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