THE public is being urged rebook a Covid test if they received a negative result earlier this month from a nearby site, after some tests carried out there resulted in false negatives.

West Berkshire Council has announced that some PCR tests completed at the Newbury Showground testing site, operated by the UK Health Security Agency (HKHSA), have had results sent out that may have incorrectly shown as negative for Covid-19.

The UKSHA has confirmed that a number of sites nationally may have been affected by the same issue.

Those who had a PCR test at Newbury Showground between October 3 and 12, which came back as negative, are “strongly recommended” to retest along with any close contacts.

The Gazette understands that Newbury Showground could come up as an option for those from Basingstoke and Deane looking to book a PCR test.

It would also be the closest testing site for some people living in villages including Highclere.

West Berkshire Council said: “It is important to take a PCR test as without it we cannot complete contact tracing and offer support to the people who need it.”

Cllr Graham Bridgman, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “We are aware there was an issue with some tests undertaken at Newbury Showground earlier this month, which has now been resolved. We would urge any residents that are concerned about their results to book another test as soon as possible so we can continue to prevent the spread of the virus across the district.

“Testing continues to remain important as we learn to live with Covid and anyone who has symptoms, or who has been in contact with someone who tests positive, should book a PCR test straightaway. We also strongly encourage the public to do twice weekly lateral flow testing.”

False negative PCR test results have also been reported in the west of the country.