Lateral flow tests unavailable on Government website for second day

14 December 2021, 10:46 | Updated: 14 December 2021, 14:12

Lateral flow tests are still not available on the Government website
Lateral flow tests are still not available on the Government website. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Lateral flow tests are unavailable to be ordered via the Government website for the second day running.

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A message on the site on Tuesday morning said there were no tests available for home delivery, despite reassurances that people would be able to order more tests after issues on Monday.

It comes as, from today, fully vaccinated contacts of a positive case in England are required to take daily lateral flow tests for a week.

READ MORE: Home Covid tests unavailable and NHS jab booking system crashes amid new rules

EXPLAINED: Covid-19: Where can I order a lateral flow test?

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) insisted there was no shortage of tests, adding more should be available for home delivery every few hours.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has also said there is no shortage, adding yesterday that the issue is with delivery.

A UKHSA spokesperson said today: "We are issuing record numbers of rapid test kits to people’s homes across the country, with 1.6 million tests – 230,000 boxes – distributed just yesterday.

"We are urgently working to further expand our delivery capacity so more people can order tests.

"Everyone who needs a lateral flow test can also collect them at their local pharmacy, some community sites and some schools and colleges."

Meanwhile, Mr Javid on Monday reassured MPs in Parliament that he has agreed new delivery arrangements with Amazon and others to address the problem.

He told the Commons: "I can reassure this House that the UK has sufficient lateral flow tests to see us through the coming weeks.

"If anyone finds they are unable to get a kit online, they should check the website the following day or pop down to their local pharmacy and pick up a kit."

Mr Javid insisted there are "tens of millions" of tests available.

He said the "the limiting factor" is the ability to deliver the tests, branding the current arrangements with Royal Mail alone as "not enough".

"There are new arrangements that I've reached with Amazon and other delivery methods," he added.

Boris Johnson was asked about potential supply issues during a visit to a vaccination clinic near Paddington in west London, and told broadcasters there is a "ready supply".

The Prime Minister said the demand seen shows "that people are doing the sensible thing, and getting tests".

Labour deputy leader, Angela Rayner, accused the Government of being "reckless" over its "inability to procure properly and plan for civil contingencies".

She tweeted: "Boris Johnson has his priorities in the wrong place."

The daily testing approach replaces the requirement for double-jabbed people identified as a contact of someone with Omicron to isolate.

New regulations are also set to be put to a debate and vote in the Commons today on the NHS Covid Pass becoming mandatory for entry into clubs and other large gatherings - but with a negative home test as an alternative for the unvaccinated.