TESTS were not available for people with coronavirus symptoms in Bolton ­— and worst affected areas today.

Slots were offered in one of the 10 local authorities with the highest Covid-19 infection rates, as the testing system struggles to cope with soaring demand.

It was not possible to book a test in Bolton – which currently has the highest infection rate in England – on Wednesday morning, the PA news agency found.

But those trying to book a test in Hyndburn, which has the seventh highest rate, were being offered a walk-through nearly 20 miles away in Bolton, with slots available at Mere Hall car park, according to the Government website.

Tests were not available in other parts of the North West, where some areas remain under local restrictions.

On Wednesday morning, it was not possible to book a test in Preston, which has the third highest infection rate in the country, and Oldham, which has the fourth.

Tests were also not available on the Government website in the remainder of 10 local authorities with surging cases, which are Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Tameside, Warrington and Knowsley.

It was also not possible to book a slot in Bury or Salford, which are areas within the top 20 highest infection rates in England.

In St Helens, a drive-through test was offered at Royal Blackburn Hospital and a walk-through at a site in Farnworth, Bolton.