Because they claim they can’t provide lateral flow testing, pharmacists call for an urgent response.

Following confirmation on Monday of no additional Covid restrictions being placed for New Years Eve celebrations, the Government advises people to undergo lateral flow tests prior to socializing.

However, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies stated that customers are getting turned down every five minutes because of “patchy” supply. They also said it was disappointing that many chemists they represented had to wait several days before receiving each shipment.

Although the UK Health Security Agency stated that it faced an “unprecedented” demand for these tests, it insisted that it had increased its capacity by twofold since mid-December. 

This is because lateral flow testing are no longer available for home delivery. Some families won’t be able to take part in the New Year’s Eve festivities. 

The Government’s website states it is not possible to order lateral flow testing kits for home delivery with a message stating‘Sorry. There are currently no slots for home delivery to perform rapid lateral flow test.

“You might still be able pick up rapid-lateral flow tests at a pharmacy, collection point or other location where they are available. You should not pick up any tests if symptoms are absent.

The supply chain was affected by the Christmas and New Year holiday, and pharmacies have been reporting shortages in LFTs. 

A few pharmacies stated that they did not have stock on Monday, and new stocks could arrive in three days.

Leyla Hanbeck, the chief executive officer of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMP), told Radio 4 Today: “Pharmacies report that people visit their offices every five minutes to request tests.

‘But unfortunately, due to the issues around supply being patchy and inconsistent, it means those who come for the tests don’t always get it which is very stressful, not just for the pharmacy team but also for the patients.

“The problem has a huge scale because of high demand. People are trying to do the right thing and want to get tested.

‘[900,000 kits a day] just isn’t enough to meet the demand and it’s patchy. Some days you get one box delivered to you and some days you get none so it just isn’t enough for pharmacies to give to patients.

“This situation has been ongoing for several weeks and the Government is being asked to immediately address the supply issue to meet high demand, as well as the complicated bureaucratic processes that are involved in supplying this supply.

Pharmacists are calling for urgent action to improve the supply of lateral flow tests ahead of NYE. People have also faced difficulties ordering testing kits for home delivery (pictured)

Pharmaceutical professionals are calling on the government to immediately increase supply for lateral flow tests in advance of New Year’s Eve. Customers have had difficulty ordering home delivery kits (pictured). 

Britons can pick up lateral flow tests for free from a pharmacy listed on the NHS website

Britons may get lateral flow tests free of charge from any NHS-listed pharmacy

Care Minister Gillian Keegan urged people to get tested before going to parties but pharmacists said the supply is 'patchy' and said people are being sent away empty handed

Gillian Keegan from the Care Ministry urged citizens to be tested before they go to parties. But pharmacists claimed that there is not enough and that people are being taken home empty handed.

As of this morning there were no available appointments at PCR testing sites and testing kits were also showing as unavailable for home delivery on the Government's website this morning

Today’s PCR test sites were not open for appointments. This morning testing kits weren’t available to be delivered at home on the Government website.

Gillian Keegan from the Care Ministry spoke yesterday to reporters about New Year celebrations.

“It’s highly contagious and people are likely to know someone who has caught it during the Christmas season.

Be careful and take a Lateral Flow Test, (LFT), before you head out. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area. I’ve been to some outdoor parties and people moved the things outside.

“So be careful, but try to have fun as well. But cautiously.”

This morning, appointments for PCR tests have been limited. There is no availability in England at 6 a.m. while the UK Health Security Agency claims that this reduced availability is purely temporary.

UKHSA spokeswoman encouraged people to return to the Government site every hour.  




“Despite unimaginable demand, our company continues to deliver millions of rapid flow tests daily.

“Our daily delivery rate has more than doubled, to 900,000.00 test kits per day from Saturday 18 Dec. so that more people can order them.

“During times of extraordinary demand, there might be temporary pauses when ordering or receiving tests. This is to ensure that we manage distribution throughout the system, support changing requirements for the lateral flow device, PCR tests and other services. Delivery capacity was also reduced during Christmas and on the bank holiday. 

The message reminded people not to order from NHS111 and 999 numbers, so they were encouraged to get tests at their local pharmacy.

A government website suggested that you could also use tests you already have at home (including ones your children brought from school) 

Additionally, it stated that the 119 service “doesn’t currently have access” to additional home delivery slots. 

UKHSA spokeswoman added that “Rapid Tests are Available to Order Directly to People’s Homes via, and the availability is constantly refreshed 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.’


UK Government statistics show how the number of Covid tests being conducted has reached 1.5m a day, with the number of swabs carried out having shot up since Omicron first emerged

The UK Government Statistics show that 1.5 million Covid tests are being performed per day. This is despite the fact that the UK Government has seen an increase in the amount of swabs since Omicron was first created.

A public health specialist advised people last week to use tests responsibly amid the current shortage.

Azeem Majeed (head of primary care at Imperial College London) said via Twitter, ‘I hear about people performing multiple lateral flow test in one day.

The tests are scarce in some parts of England, and such a practice can lead to supply issues for key workers such the NHS staff. Use the tests with care.

It is the sixth consecutive time that lateral flow test results have not been available for delivery by the government. Encourages customers to get tests at their nearest pharmacies. 

What is the best way to get a lateral flow testing? 

How do I get a lateral flow tester?

A pharmacy, or another collection point can give you free tests. It is usually the fastest way for most people to obtain one.

Click here to visit the NHS site. There you will find information about your nearest location. Click on “Get a Collect Code” to receive a code that you can give to the centre.

Where can I get a lateral flow analysis?

Click here to order your lateral flow test kit. However, the NHS requires that you only place an order online if you are unable to pick it up. 

How do I perform a lateral flow study?

You should do lateral flow testing on days when Covid-19 is more likely to be caught or spread. This includes before you meet people indoors or see someone with a higher chance of contracting it.

Adults who have been double jabbed are now required to undergo a lateral flow testing every day for 7 days, if they meet someone with Covid-19. 

Where can I get a test for PCR?

By clicking here, you can request a free PCR testing kit for your home. You may also book an appointment to visit a test center. 

One should be obtained if there are any of the three main Covid-19 symptoms: a high fever, continuous coughing or loss of senses of taste and smell.

According to the Government, if there are no symptoms, you may also be eligible for a PCR kit.

  • If you have been in touch with someone who has tested positive, you will need to isolate yourself
  • You’ve been requested to take a test at a local authority or by someone from NHS Test and Trace
  • A doctor or another health professional asks you for a test
  • You’re participating in a pilot government project
  • You’ve been requested to take a test in order to verify a positive result.
  • You received an unreliable result, and you were instructed to take a second testing.
  • It is important to test your partner if you have symptoms.
  • You are a part of the National Tactical Response Group

Is it necessary to isolate at all? 

This month’s new guidance states that anyone who has been in contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases should be fully vaccinated and take a quick lateral flow test for one week. It will help to slow down the spread of this virus. 

People with symptoms, or who have tested positive for the illness, are not eligible to participate in daily testing.