Covid-19: Health Minister says 350 million tests will be available in January and February

This could be potential good news for anyone in Birmingham who has struggled to get a test

Health Minister Gillian Keegan has given reassurances that 350 million lateral flow tests will be made available through to next month.

This comes as people across the country, including in Birmingham, have struggled to get hold of both lateral flow and PCR tests.

In an interview with Sky News, the health minister assured the public that hundreds of millions of tests will be available from this month in an effort to prevent any further periods where tests were unavailable.

These spells of unavailability have since been put down to a “surge in demand” in the lead up to Christmas and New Year.

She said: “I know there’s been a couple of surges in demand which have meant we’ve had a couple of times where they haven’t been available, but we have ordered a lot of tests.

“We have 350 million that will be available in January and February, we’ve actually tripled our lateral flow testing capacity. This is one of the things we’ve been working on over the Christmas break.”

During the interview, she also echoed the announcement made yesterday that 100,000 ‘critical workers’ are to receive daily Lateral Flow Tests.

The Prime Minister said that the workers "from food processing to transport to Border Force," will need to test every day they are working from 10 January.

Last month, it was decided by the government that people in Birmingham could only pick up a pack of Lateral Flow Tests from a chemist or pharmacist if they registered online and collected a code.

With Christmas fast approaching, there was a significant rise in people looking to get tests.

For long periods of December and in between Christmas and New Year, PCR tests were unavailable in large areas of the UK.

How can I get a test?

With the Omicron variant continuing to spread throughout the country, people are being encouraged to get tested more.

For Lateral Flow Tests, both to have them delivered and to secure an order code for tests to be collected from a pharmacy, click here

To check availability of PCR tests in the Birmingham area and book a test, click here 

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