Coronavirus: Scotland

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 17th December 2020.

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Photo of Lord MacKenzie of Culkein Lord MacKenzie of Culkein Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the COVID-19 home test kit system is not available to postcodes in (1) Sutherland, (2) Caithness, (3) Ross and Skye, (4) Lochaber, (5) Badenoch, (6) Argyll and Bute, (7) the Western Isles, (8) Orkney, and (9) Shetland; and what steps they are taking to resolve this availability.

Photo of Lord Bethell Lord Bethell The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Due to their remote geographical area, home testing kits are not available in some areas. The home test service relies on Royal Mail's 24 hour guarantee priority post-boxes to ensure tests are returned to the laboratory in a suitable timeframe. Some remote areas in the Scottish Isles have had access to a dedicated testing service set up specifically that enables people to access tests through hospitals without being admitted as a patient. This has been rolled out to the areas of most acute need across the Islands first and is being expanded to provide testing across the Highlands. Residents can also access testing via the nearest regional test site, walk in test site or mobile testing unit.

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