Lateral Flow Tests Run Out On Government Website After Surge In Demand
Free testing kits appear to have run out
Free lateral flow test kits appear to have run out following pleas from ministers for people to test more frequently.
The surge in demand follows the announcement of new rules for contacts of Covid cases allowing people to avoid self-isolation by taking daily tests.
A message on the government's booking website on Monday said: "Sorry, there are no more home tests available right now.
"Try again later. Or, you can go back and try to book a test site appointment instead."
People have also been urged to take the lateral flow tests more frequently when planning to meet others in crowded, indoor places after a significant surge in new cases of Covid-19, likely triggered by the new Omicron variant.
In a statement, the UK Health Security Agency said all online orders had been temporarily suspended, but that kits were available at other locations for collection.
"Everyone who needs lateral flow test can collect test kits either from your local pharmacy, some community sites and some schools and colleges," they said.
"Due to exceptionally high demand, ordering lateral flow tests on gov.uk has been temporarily suspended to fulfil existing orders."
Speaking on Monday, Boris Johnson said there was a "ready supply" of the kits.
"If you can't get one online for any reason, then there are ample supplies in the shops," he said.
"What that shows is that people are doing the sensible thing, and getting tests as well."
On Sunday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the government was bringing forward their target for offering booster jabs to all adults to the end of December.
Johnson said the country "must urgently reinforce our wall of vaccine protection", as he warned of a "tidal wave" of Omicron infections.
But the government's website for trying to book vaccine appointments has also faced problems, with long wait times to access the page to book in the jab.
"The Covid vaccine booking service is currently facing extremely high demand so is operating a queuing system," a tweet from the offcial NHS account said.
“For users aged 18-29, please be aware that booking opens on Wednesday 15 Dec.
“For all others experiencing waits, we would advise trying again later today or tomorrow.”
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe