The government continues to rapidly scale up the supply, logistics and lab capacity needed in response to unprecedented demand for both PCR and LFD tests due to impact of the Omicron variant.
As we continue to experience record case numbers driven by the Omicron variant, the government is utilising our testing capability to help avoid unwanted restrictions and keep the country running as smoothly as possible.
Most recently, testing has enabled us to:
• Reduce the self-isolation period, re-uniting individuals with their loved ones during the Christmas period
• Keep open venues that would otherwise pose a much greater risk through use of the COVID Pass
• Allow vaccinated people who have had contact with a positive case to take daily tests instead of having to self-isolate
The Omicron variant has inevitably placed strain on the testing system. We have already responded by:
• More than doubling LFD supply from 120 million tests to nearly 300 million in December, *which is more per head than any other country*
• Ramping-up PCR test capacity from around 530,000 per day in November to up to 700,000 per day today
Over the next few weeks we will go further as we seek to do everything possible to respond to anticipated demand. We are:
• Buying hundreds of millions more LFD tests, bringing new products on board, and accelerating their deployment to the public
• Tripling the supply of LFDs in January and February from our pre-Omicron plan of 100 million to 300 million per month
• Doubling our total delivery capacity with Royal Mail to 900,000 test packs and PCR tests a day.
If you have trouble ordering tests please do keep trying it clears after a short while or look to order at less busy times perhaps early morning or late night - many people looking to get supplies if isolating and all the above will help assist us to respond and to keep us safer, stay healthy and keep our economy and livelihoods going.