New Year's Eve under threat: Government website is unable to send out rapid tests

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Covid test crisis for New Year’s: Home delivery rapid tests run out for second day in row and could now take three days to arrive while pharmacy stocks run low with some having had no new supplies since last week 

Yesterday, the Government announced it would not go ahead with more stringent Covid restrictions, instead allowing pubs and nightclubs to open for New Year’s Eve, as well as other mass events.   

But that same day, the Government’s website stated that it was not possible to order lateral flow testing kits for home delivery, with the UK Health Security Agency citing ‘unprecedented demand’ for the shortage.

Today, the same message appeared stating: ‘Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now.

Today, the same message has appeared as yesterday, stating : 'Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now'

‘You may still be able to pick up rapid lateral flow tests from a pharmacy or collection point, where these are available. Only pick up tests if you do not have symptoms.’

Pharmacies across the country have reported shortages of LFTs and many are unable to replenish their kits as the supply chain has been affected by Christmas and New Year holidays. 

Britons can pick up lateral flow tests for free from a pharmacy listed on the NHS website

Some pharmacies reported they have not had stock since last Monday and it could take three days for new supplies to arrive

Speaking to broadcasters about New Year celebrations this afternoon, Care Minister Gillian Keegan said: ‘We have always said ”act cautiously” since this new variant came among us.

‘It is highly infectious and many people will know people who have caught this over the Christmas period.

‘So do be cautious, take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT) before you go out. Go to well-ventilated areas – I have been to a couple of outdoor parties actually, people have moved things to outside.

‘So just be cautious, but do try to enjoy yourself as well – but cautiously.’

Appointments for PCR tests are now available after shortages in England yesterday as the UK Health Security Agency insisted the reduced availability was merely ‘temporary’.

A UKHSA spokesperson encouraged members of the public to revisit the Government website every few hours.  

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