‘No more lateral flow tests’ message due to technical glitch, say health officials

·2-min read
Almost 700 million lateral flow tests have been handed out as part of a mass rollout of regular household testing (PA Wire)
Almost 700 million lateral flow tests have been handed out as part of a mass rollout of regular household testing (PA Wire)

The Department of Health and Social Care has blamed a “technical glitch” on its website for telling people there are no more rapid lateral flow tests.

All adults in the country are currently entitled to pick up two free testing kits a week, which can be collected from pharmacies or ordered online.

But early Monday afternoon the government website asked people trying to access it to order tests to come back tomorrow because they had run out.

It read: “Sorry, no more tests can be ordered today.

“No more rapid lateral flow tests can be ordered online or through the call centre today.

“Please try again tomorrow when more tests will be available.”

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The tests are able to detect Covid-19 infections in just 30 minutes and just last month almost 700 million were handed out as part of a mass rollout of regular household testing.

People were quick to turn to social media to voice their frustrations.

One woman said: “No masks No social distancing And now… No lateral flow tests Good luck everyone.”

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One man said: “So we have now no lateral flow tests left. What a good day for that to happen. One thing you can say about our lot they never fail to let us down . WOW.”

But the DHSC said that the devices are actually available and the message was simply down to a “glitch.”

“We can confirm that lateral flow devices (LFDs) are still available to order via gov.co.uk. There was a temporary technical glitch with the website earlier today and this has now been rectified,” a spokesperson told the Standard.

The incident came on ‘Freedom Day’, when most of the coronavirus restrictions were lifted, including mandatory mask wearing.

It means there are no more limits on socialising and the “one metre plus” rule on social distancing has been lifted except in specific circumstances such as at the border.

Nightclubs, which have shut their doors to customers for more than a year, opened their doors at midnight on Monday to hundreds of partygoers queued outside.

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