Home Business News It’s a ‘total shambles’ as New Year’s Eve revellers told to take a test, but due to ‘inconsistent’ supplies many don’t get one

It’s a ‘total shambles’ as New Year’s Eve revellers told to take a test, but due to ‘inconsistent’ supplies many don’t get one

29th Dec 21 3:21 pm

The Prime Minister is urging revellers to take a Covid test before celebrating New Year’s Eve, but thousands of people are unable to get one due to “inconsistent” supplies.

Boris Johnson has urged people to enjoy the evening by being “cautious” and in a “sensible way” by getting boosted and get a test.

However, Leyla Hannbeck, chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, warned that patients are often unable to find any tests in pharmacies as a direct result of low and “inconsistent” supplies.

Hannbeck told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “What our members are telling us is that demand for the lateral flow tests is very high at the moment due to the current guidelines around self-isolation.

“Pharmacies are reporting that every five minutes, approximately, somebody comes in to the pharmacy asking for a test.

“But, unfortunately, because of the issues around supply being patchy and inconsistent, it means that those who come for the test don’t always get it, which is very stressful not just for the pharmacy team but for the patient.

“The scale of the problem is huge because the demand is high, because of the current guidelines.”

The Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting slammed the government and he described the dearth of supplies as a “total shambles” which has been caused by “the Conservative Government’s incompetence.”

The Labour MP said, “The failure to make enough tests available weeks after they became a requirement is a total shambles.

“People are trying to do the right thing, follow the Government’s own advice and test themselves regularly, but are prevented by the Conservative Government’s incompetence.”

The UKHSA has said tests may be temporarily unavailable on the government website at points throughout the day, due to “exceptionally high demand.”

The UKHSA are urging people not to order more tests before using the ones they have.

A UKHSA spokesman said, “During periods of exceptional demand there may be temporary pauses in ordering or receiving tests, to ensure we manage distribution across the system and support changing requirements for LFD and PCR tests.

“Reduced postal schedules also impact on delivery capacity over the Christmas period.

“Rapid tests are available to order directly to people’s homes via gov.uk and availability is refreshed regularly throughout the day.

“We encourage people to re-visit the site every few hours if they are unable to order tests as more will become available – and to please ensure they are making use of any tests they already have at home before ordering or collecting more.”

On Monday Johnson was warned by the influential 1922 Committee backbenchers MPs that he must not do anything to destroy New Years Eve.

Sir Graham Brady who chairs the 1922 influential committee warned the Prime Minister not to ruin New Year’s Eve plans.

Sir Graham said, “Enough is enough.”

“There must be no new unnecessary restrictions this week whether the PM sees fit to recall Parliament for an emergency session or whether he resorts simply to more guidance.”

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