Sajid Javid also revealed that the UK had trebled its order of lateral flow kits

Sajid Javid revealed, too that the UK has tripled its orders of lateral flow kit

Sajid Javid admitted that lateral flow tests will be difficult to obtain for the next two weeks due to a ‘huge demand.

Last night’s letter was sent to all English MPs by the Health Secretary warning that supplies will have to prioritize vulnerable populations such as residents in care homes.

He revealed that the UK’s order of lateral flows had tripled between January and February from 100 to 300million. 

It came as many Britons were left unable to get kits for the third day running — despite ministers urging people to take the swabs before heading out to New Year’s celebrations.

Although the Government site offered lateral flow testing at noon today, it stopped offering them by 1:15.

Pharmacies have even started putting up signs telling customers they have no lateral flow tests — even for those who have pre-booked an order and have a code. 

Wales now lends more than 4 million tests to England, helping No10.

Pictures today show that contractors were still handing out kits in spite of shortages. Outside a Nando’s, Slough received packs of 7 and 20 swabs. 

Ministers blame a global supply issue’ as the cause of the crisis. Access to PCRs is also difficult in certain areas.

The swab crisis is causing concern. Many are being forced into self-isolation because they can’t get the tests they need to show they haven’t contracted the virus. 

Some local authorities have taken matters into their own hands and started dishing out lateral flow tests. Pictured above is a van parked outside a Nando's in Slough town centre today. It dished out lateral flows in packets of seven and 20

Local authorities took matters into their hands and began distributing lateral flow testing. Above is the van that was parked in front of a Nando’s restaurant in Slough’s town center today. The van dished out lateral flow packets in seven- and twenty-packs.

Slough council has had a partnership with the provider since January. Under the deal Solutions 4 Health offers lateral flow tests to people who do not have Covid symptoms in the area. Pictured is the van dishing out lateral flows in Slough town centre

Slough Council has been a partner with the provider since January. Solutions 4 Health provides lateral flow testing to those who don’t have Covid symptoms. This is the van giving out lateral flows to Slough town centre.

Pictured above are Slough residents queuing to get lateral flows in the town centre. Many walked away with bags full of the kits

The Slough resident who waited in line to receive lateral flows are shown above. Many left with their bags filled of kits.

AYLESBURY: A sign in a pharmacy window saying no lateral flow tests were available

LIVERPOOL: This pharmacy had no lateral flows available, even for people with a collection code

Today, pharmacies all over the country posted signs on their windows stating that they were out of lateral flow kit. This was even true for code holders. 

The rapid home testing kits were available to order around 1pm today. But by 1.15pm the Government's website shared a message saying 'Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for these tests right now'

You could order the home testing kits at 1pm today. The Government website sent out a message about the availability of home delivery slots, at 1.15pm.

Data shows that almost a million lateral flow tests are being recorded every day in England at the moment. But that figure will be a huge under-estimate because only a fraction of swabs are officially recorded

According to data, almost one million lateral flow tests per day are currently being performed in England. This number is likely to be significantly underestimated as only a tiny fraction of all swabs are actually recorded.

Javid stated to MPs that Omicron’s arrival has resulted in record numbers of cases and an unprecedented demand for both PCR (Polymer Flow Device) and Lateral Flow Devices (LFD).

“Despite the incredible scaling-up in supply logistics and lab capacity, this has put pressure on the testing system. Others have also faced similar problems.

He added: ‘In light of the huge demand for LFDs seen over the last three weeks, we expect to need to constrain the system at certain points over the next two weeks to manage supply over the course of each day, with new tranches of supply released regularly throughout each day.

Confusing as NHS Guidance STILL Says People who Test Positive for Covid Should Self-Isolate for 10 DAYS 

MailOnline has learned that the NHS still tells Covid infected patients to isolate for 10 days.

Even though ministers last week decided to reduce the quarantine time to only one week for anyone who tests negative twice in a row,

Although it has been more than seven days since the rule change, the NHS still doesn’t prominently display No10 on its website.

To find out the length of self-isolation for Covid-infected persons in England, please click on a different page.

Today’s scientists called on the NHS to “rectify” its guidelines quickly.

England, however, is left to its own devices with respect to the isolation guidance. Rest of the UK is sticking with the 10-day original period.

This comes at a time when scientists, MPs and business leaders all converge to ask Boris Johnson for self-isolation cut to five days like the US.


“We will keep making these tests accessible to all who need them, especially vulnerable groups like care home residents or those working in crucial sectors like the care workforce.”

Javid described his future plans and stated that: To meet anticipated demand over the next few week, we will buy hundreds of millions of more LFD testing, bring new products to board, and accelerate their deployment for the public.

“We’re also increasing our delivery capability with Royal Mail by doubling it to 900,000.00 test packs per day.

In response to the increasing number of variant cases, he also disclosed that PCR testing capabilities had increased from 530,000 per day to 700,000.

The test were provided for free to all people, regardless of their symptoms.

According to government figures, Britons currently undergo around one million lateral flow test per day. 630,000 PCRs also are completed each 24 hours.

An Omicron variant rapid expansion caused a testing shortage earlier in the month, prompting an increase in the demand for swabs.

Officials insisted at that time there were enough swabs throughout the country. They also claimed it was an issue of distribution. 

However, ministers have now stated that a global supply problem has caused the shortage. Testing kits were distributed within minutes of arriving in the UK.

To help ease the shortage Wales today agreed to loan four million lateral flow tests to the NHS in England, taking the total given by the country to ten million.

Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, stated that Wales has sufficient stocks to satisfy demand for the test in the coming weeks.

Britons can now leave self-isolation up to three days earlier if they are negative for lateral flow on day six or seven.

This change was made to reduce staffing shortages at the NHS and in other critical parts of the economy. However, it also contributed to a spiralling demand.

Officials also asked Britons to get tested for the virus prior to going out for New Years celebrations. This increased demand for testing is further reflected in the demands on the system. 

Residents were handed Covid Tests at Nando’s Slough, and they left with bags filled with the swabs. 

Through its collaboration with Solutions 4 Health (Covid test provider Solutions 4 Health), the local authority distributed the kits. This partnership has been in effect since January.

Boris Johnson has urged the nation to enjoy celebrations tomorrow night in a 'cautious and sensible way'

Boris Johnson urged citizens to celebrate tomorrow’s Independence Day in a prudent and responsible manner.

Can you really cut down the 10 day quarantine safely? 

What is the maximum time people can be infected?

Some academics argue that Britain’s Covid could have its self-isolation sentence reduced to five days.

According to data, 98% of viral transmission happens before the person becomes ill or within 5 days. 

The University of St Andrews’ infectious disease expert Dr Muge Cervik said that most cases are transmitted very quickly.

“Viral load rises rapidly, and people can become very infectious in the first days. 

For how long is Covid testing positive for?

Using lateral flow tests that take less than 15 minutes to provide results, it is ideal for identifying people most susceptible. 

The antigens are viral proteins found in nasal and throat samples.

However, the kits have a lower sensitivity than gold-standardPCRs. These PCRs send swabs to labs to analyse for viruses. 

This means that they will be less likely than others to detect someone infected. However, they may also not give positive results if someone is more severe and has a higher viral load.

The PCRs on the other side are very sensitive and can detect the presence of virus fragments even long after illness has passed.

A positive PCR test does not necessarily mean that someone is contagious. 

According to the agreement, Covid tests are performed by the provider for anyone in the vicinity who does not show symptoms but is concerned about being infected.

Under the official system, people should only get a PCR test if they are suffering any of the three key symptoms — fever, new continuous cough and loss of taste or smell. 

Pharmacies have started putting up signs warning customers they have no lateral flow tests — even for those who have pre-booked an order and have a code. 

One Boots staff member in London put up today a piece of paper saying that they did not stock the Covid lateral flows tests. We suggest you find another pharmacy. Thank you.

Liverpool’s pharmacy posted on its door a sign that stated: “We have no Covid tests!” You don’t need a code. 

The warning came as a Government science adviser said this morning that it was’very worrying indeed” that some people in England might mix on New Years Eve without passing a Covid Test. 

Peter Openshaw (who sits on Nervtag’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group) said indoor parties are a ‘perfect’ place to propagate the Omicron coronavirus type. 

The Telegraph was informed by a Government official that people may soon have trouble getting a PCR testing at a drive or walk-through facility within two days of asking. As demand for the test increases, 

According to a source, PCR test demand continues to rise. Demand and available capacity have reached a point where they are almost at equal levels. However, we are on the verge of reaching the point when people will not be able to obtain PCR tests within 48 hours. What then do you do? 

Although the government is being pressured to solve the test shortage, ministers are blaming global supply issues. 

Yesterday Mr Johnson declared that it was important for people to get tested before they can celebrate with family and friends. 

He said: ‘I think everybody should enjoy New Year but in a cautious and sensible way. You should take the test, ventilate, consider others and, above all, get a booster.

Rapid swab kits weren’t available online, and pharmacists advised that they were out of stock. However, the Government website continues to show they are still in stock for home delivery.

Appointments for drive-through and walk-in Covid tests were unavailable for hours on Wednesday – even for doctors, nurses and carers – and are still unavailable this morning.

The UK yesterday recorded a new record high of 183,037 coronavirus cases, amid growing fears the testing supply crisis could stop key workers taking tests to leave self-isolation and return to work.  

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said indoor parties are 'absolutely perfect' for spreading the Omicron coronavirus variant

Peter Openshaw (who sits on Nervtag’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group) said that indoor parties were ‘absolutely ideal’ to spread the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Professor Openshaw was asked how he felt about people getting together tomorrow, without the need to pass a test. 

He told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: ‘I think it is very worrying indeed. We know what transmissions take place, and I believe we don’t need to lock down in such a way that it is impossible for us not to do so in the first part of the year.

“But, we know that it is possible to transmit this virus by crowding in poor ventilation, especially if the person shouts over loud music.

Asked if he believes new coronavirus rules will be needed in England in the coming days, he replied: ‘That really is a political decision. You know that scientists and experts can only predict the future based upon what we know. Once this information is known, it is up to politicians to decide what mitigation measures they will put into place.   

Professor Openshaw stated that it was still too soon to determine the impact of Omicron. 

According to him, ‘I believe that from the NHS perspective, hospitalisations now exceed 10,000, and around 70% are due directly to Covid, and daily admissions continue to increase,’ 

The number of hospitalisations nearly doubled within the last 10 days. This is a common occurrence. It is difficult to predict what it will mean for the people who are going to be very tragically killed.

“But it’s inevitable that this will manifest as patients present and progress through this disease.”

Prof Openshaw answered a question about whether he sees Covid patients increasing in ICU.

“So far, there have been an disproportionate amount of children with infections and this has spread to their parents, to these age groups and now it seems like it’s spreading to other age groups.

In recent weeks, test demand has risen dramatically due to the government’s decision to reduce self-isolation time from 10 days down to 7.  

Officials acknowledge that in times of extreme demand, there might be “temporary pauses” in ordering and receiving tests in an effort to manage distribution within the system.

Supply issues have been exacerbated by the Christmas-shortened postal service. 

Sajid Javid (Health Secretary) admitted yesterday to a Tory MP that the Government was facing supply challenges worldwide.

Sir Roger Gale said Mr Javid had confessed there was a problem with supplies – previously ministers and officials had insisted they had sufficient stocks but the problems were in delivering them to people’s homes or pharmacies.

The Times was told by a number 10 source that people don’t have to take an exam to be allowed to leave, but it is recommended. 

According to a source, the government was not trying to tell people not leave.

It’s personal responsibility. People should take the test whenever they can.