Coronavirus Northern Ireland: People unable to order home lateral flow tests online said there was ‘sufficient stock’ at ‘collection sites’
The Department of Health has encouraged members of the public to obtain their free rapid lateral flow tests from “local collection sites” following complaints from many people who were unable to order the home test kits in Monday morning line.
Many people who have attempted to order the test kits from their homes received a message on the department’s official website that said, “Sorry, there are no more home test kits available at this time. Try again later. Or, you can go back and try to make an appointment at a test site instead. “
In a statement, the department said: “There is a sufficient stock of lateral flow tests in Northern Ireland to supply local collection sites.
“The fastest way to get your free rapid lateral flow tests is through pharmacies and other local collection sites.
“To find a collection point near you, go to the online site finder. Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests – NHS (test-and-trace.nhs.uk). “
There are over 580 collection sites in Northern Ireland, including over 500 community pharmacies.
The department added that although the tests can also be ordered online, “in times of high demand, the online service may be temporarily unavailable.”
The NI executive recently urged people to pass at least two lateral flow tests per week to help fight the spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Stormont also stressed that everyone should have regular tests if they plan to go out or mingle with other people as Christmas approaches, as December sees an increase in parties and shopping on the streets.
“Having a regular lateral flow test helps keep our friends and family safe. Anyone who meets friends or family, or attends an event or a social gathering, is advised to take a test before leaving, ”the health ministry continued.
“It is especially important to test before visiting or meeting an older or more vulnerable person. Regular twice weekly lateral flow tests are also encouraged.
“It is vital to report every result online, even if it is negative. This helps us track the spread of the virus, identify areas of concern, and provide support to communities in need. Results should be reported on the gov.uk website.
“If you have symptoms, please isolate yourself and book a PCR test. If your lateral flow test is positive, isolate yourself and book a PCR test. “