Lateral flow test kits not available on official website in England | Coronavirus
Lateral flow home test kits are no longer available online and NHS England advised people trying to book a Covid booster shot to try later or Tuesday as extremely high demand overwhelmed the website of the government.
He said on Monday that there were “no more home tests available” and advised people to “try again later” or book an appointment at the testing site instead.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) said there was no shortage of lateral flow testing and the government had enough stock to meet demand, adding that the shortage represented a temporary hiatus due to increased demand and kits were still available to be collected in person.
The shortage comes after health officials announced this weekend that double-bite people identified as someone’s contact with Covid-19 in England would be asked to take a rapid daily test for seven days from Tuesday. The UKHSA has said it will encourage people to use any tests they may already have at home before ordering or collecting more.
Asked about providing testing after website issues, Boris Johnson said, “They can get these tests, we have a side flow test offering ready.
“If you can’t get one online for some reason, then there are enough supplies in the stores. But what I’m thinking, if I may say so, what it also shows is that people are doing the sane thing and taking tests as well. “
Its official spokesperson spoke of the problems related to the lack of slots with the postal service.
“Lateral flow tests abound. We have more than enough supply. What we are seeing is because of the increased demand today, those that are available to be posted today, those slots have already been filled, ”he said.
“We are working with the postal service and others to further increase the slots. But it’s important for people to understand that if they have any issues, they can go to their local pharmacy. Slot machines refresh daily.
Deputy Labor chief Angela Rayner tweeted: “Testing is absolutely essential to keep us safe and enable people to make safe choices.
“The government’s failure to properly procure and plan for civil contingencies is reckless. Boris Johnson has his priorities in the wrong place.
A UKHSA spokesperson said: “Anyone who needs a lateral flow test can pick up test kits – either at their local pharmacy, at some community sites, and at some schools and colleges.
“Due to exceptionally high demand, the ordering of lateral flow tests on gov.uk has been temporarily suspended to fulfill existing orders. “
The renewed interest in booking reminders came after the Prime Minister announced that anyone over the age of 18 in England “will have the chance to get their recall before the New Year” in a dramatic acceleration of the vaccination campaign.
In a tweet, the health service said: “The Covid vaccine reservation service is currently facing extremely high demand and therefore operates a queue system.
“For users aged 18 to 29, please note that the reservation opens Wednesday, December 15. For all the others who are waiting, we advise you to try again later today or tomorrow.
It comes on the first day that 30- to 39-year-olds in England can officially book a booster.
The service had already booked more than 140,000 vaccine appointments as of Monday, NHS Digital said, with people waiting for several minutes.
Although the reservation system does not open for those under 30 until Wednesday, Johnson said Sunday evening that some could use the walk-in centers as early as Monday.
There were queues at several vaccination centers in England after the announcement, with people waiting patiently although they were warned that they could face waits of several hours.
Long queues formed at St Thomas’s Hospital, on the south bank of the Thames in London, and stretched across Westminster Bridge towards Parliament.
In Whalley Range, south of Manchester, clinics seemed unprepared for the influx of people. Laura Sears and Joe Hollingworth, both in their late twenties, learned at a clinic in south Manchester that they would have to wait six months from the date of their second dose before they could receive a booster. However, after the clinic director spoke to his supervisors, the couple were admitted.
“The website was totally down, it didn’t allow us to try to make an appointment, so we tried to get in,” Sears said.
“You can kind of tell from the staff that the government communication has been pretty terrible,” Hollingworth added.
At the Haynes Motor Museum vaccination center near Yeovil in Somerset, staff estimated there were wait times of around 45 minutes.
One woman, who had booked to receive her booster but asked not to be named, said: “I’m happy we can be booked and I want to do the right thing by getting it as quickly as possible.
“But it’s not great when you’re still standing in line more than half an hour past your date’s time and you don’t know how long it will take, especially when I’ve tried to do during my lunch break because I couldn’t find an appointment available outside of working hours.