U.K. Runs Out of Home Covid-19 Tests Online in Rush to Fight Omicron
Rapid at-home Covid-19 tests are currently unavailable on the U.K. government website amid high demand after the government encouraged the public to test daily and to book a booster vaccine shot.
Efforts to order a pack of seven lateral flow tests via the U.K. government website on Monday prompted a message: “There are no more home tests available.” The website advised users to try again later or go back and book a test site appointment instead.
A U.K. Health Security Agency spokesperson said ordering lateral flow tests was “temporarily suspended to fulfil existing orders” due to “exceptionally high demand.”
“Everyone who needs a lateral flow test can collect test kits -- either at their local pharmacy, some community sites and some schools and colleges.”
The U.K. has ramped up restrictions, testing and vaccination programs in recent days in response to the spread of the omicron variant. All British adults are now eligible for a booster shot before the end of December.
Vaccinated contacts of people with Covid in England have been told to test daily instead of entering self-isolation, to work from home if possible and to wear masks in indoor spaces.
Asked about the reports of shortages, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that there was a “ready supply” of lateral flow tests. “If you can’t get one online for any reason, then there are ample supplies in the shops,” he said.
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