Boris Johnson urges people to take Covid test before New Year’s Eve despite national shortage

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 30th December 2021

Boris Johnson has urged people to take a lateral flow test before heading out for any New Year’s Eve celebrations – but once again, there are no rapid test kits available on the Government website.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that people should enjoy the event ‘in a cautious and sensible way’.

While visiting a vaccination centre, he told reporters: “Everybody should enjoy New Year but in a cautious and sensible way – take a test, ventilation, think about others but, above all, get a booster.”

But this week, the supply of lateral flow tests remains ‘patchy’ and none are available to order for home delivery.

When trying to order a kit on the Government portal, people are being met with a message that states: “Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now.”

Lateral flow test. Credit:

Some tests are available to collect from local pharmacies, but they’re reporting people turning up ‘every five minutes’ trying to get their hands on the elusive tests.

The same is true for PCR tests for those who have symptoms, and are isolating.


The Government website is showing ‘None available’ at test sites in all areas of England.

Home PCR tests are also unavailable – for both essential workers and the general public.

The UK Health Security Agency has said it will deliver record numbers of lateral flow tests to pharmacies in the next few days.


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They said: “We are delivering record numbers of #LateralFlowTests to pharmacies across the country, with more kits being delivered in the next few days.

“We’re also continuing to expand capacity for booking #PCR test slots online.”

The shortage of tests was worsened when self-isolation rules changed, allowing people to stop self-isolating after seven days if they tested negative on both days six and seven of their quarantine.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons