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COVID-19: PCR And Lateral Flow Tests 'Unavailable' For Islanders

Image from Sky News (C).

Islanders are once again unable to book PCR coronavirus tests — or order Lateral Flow Tests.

PCR appointments at Newclose Cricket Ground are not currently available — even for key workers. Isle of Wight residents are also unable to order kits to their homes.

Labour has described the shortage, which appears to be a nationwide problem, as a "total shambles".

Government advice for those wanting Lateral Flow Tests is to pick one up from a collection point or pharmacy.

However, Island pharmacists are reporting low stocks. Kits are set to be handed out in Newport, Freshwater, Cowes and Ryde later, but there is limited availability.

Issues have also been reported in other parts of the country. In Kent, Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale says there is "gridlock" with "no stocks" in chemists. He claims his colleagues at ministerial level aren't answering their phone.

News of test shortages come as calls intensify to cut the isolation period to five days to protect key industries.

It follows a similar move in America.

Large numbers of staff absences are said to be badly affecting the NHS.