Lateral flows: How to get a lateral flow test in Scotland

Public Health Scotland urges people to defer Christmas parties

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As cases of the Covid variant, Omicron, continue to rise rapidly in the UK – the overall number grew more than triple its size between Thursday and Sunday last week – people are being urged to regularly test themselves with lateral flow tests to help combat the spread of the strain. However, none are currently available to order from the Government website – so where else in Scotland can you pick them up?

Following last night’s announcement that the UK is moving it’s Covid alert level from three to four, people are being urged to take extra precautions to help stem the spread of the Omicron variant.

One of the methods which has been suggested is for UK residents to regularly test themselves for Covid, using lateral flow/antigen tests.

Lateral flows have been a fixture throughout the pandemic as an easy to use method for people to detect whether they are infected with the virus.

To date, lateral flows have been free to order from the Government website, but on Monday morning, users were greeted with a message that explained no more tests were available.

As people attempted to complete their order they were prompted with the following message: “Sorry, there are no more home test kits available right now.

“Try again later. Or, you can go back and try to book a test site appointment instead.”

Though lateral flow tests may not be available from the Government website at present there are several other venues that people can pick them up from in Scotland. These include:

  • Local pharmacies
  • Covid testing centres
  • Nursery or childcare provider
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Some workplaces

Once you have taken a lateral flow test you should report the result on the Government website – GOV.UK – which will then prompt a text message to your phone confirming your result.

Every time you take a lateral flow you should report it to the NHS as soon as possible once you have been given a result.

People should note after 24 hours have passed you will no longer be able to report the outcome of that particular test.

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Why are people being urged to test regularly?

In recent weeks the Prime Minister has held two separate Downing Street press conferences, where he’s announced sets of changes to national Covid restrictions.

The alterations come as the Government attempts to meet the challenge of the Omicron variant – which is spreading rapidly through communities.

Nonetheless, despite the introduction of these rules it’s estimated between 25,000 and 75,000 more deaths could occur – according to new modelling from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) – if no extra measures are imposed.

Some 1,239 Omicron cases were officially reported by the UK yesterday, but there are concerns that many more people could be infected with the strain.

Overall, the number of confirmed Omicron cases now stands at 3,137, while last Friday (December 10) the number was 1,139.

On Sunday, 48,854 new Covid cases were reported – the total number since the pandemic began is nearly at 11 million.

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