Boris Johnson announcement: PM urges NYE revellers to take lateral flow tests to detect Omicron amid wide shortages

Boris Johnson announcement: PM urges NYE revellers to take lateral flow tests to detect Omicron amid wide shortages

Boris Johnson has urged people to get swabbed before enjoying New Year celebrations despite dwindling supplies of Covid-19 lateral flow tests,

Ministers acknowledged a worldwide supply issue is hitting the UK as people today struggled to get tests through pharmacies or delivered to their home.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid set out the issues in a call with a Tory MP, acknowledging there is not a quick fix to a problem caused by global demand.

Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, has said patients are often unable to find Covid-19 tests in chemists because of “patchy” and “inconsistent” supplies.

The Government website showed no PCR tests were available for home delivery – even for essential workers – in England or Northern Ireland, with “very few” in Scotland, while Wales had availability only in some regions.

Home delivery slots for lateral flow tests were also unavailable on Wednesday afternoon.

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