HEREFORDSHIRE Council says it is limiting the number of lateral flow Covid tests being handed out as demand outstrips supply.

Advertising pop-up locations where lateral flow test kits are being handed out in the county this week, the council said teams would be in place for as long as supply lasted.

Before this week, the council had advertised both the opening and closing times of pop-up locations.

Now Dr Rebecca Howell-Jones, acting director of public health for Herefordshire Council, has revealed the move is due to demand outstripping supply.


She said the council had seen "unprecedented levels of demand" for the rapid tests at pop-up venues over recent weeks.

It means the council teams are not always able to meet demand with the supply they are receiving.

The teams will be in place until stock has run out.

Wednesday, January 12

Market Fair, High Town, Hereford, from 10.30am

Market House, Ledbury, from midday

Thursday, January 13

Elgar House, Hereford, from 9am

Carrot and Wine Stores, Wormelow, from 9am

Friday, January 14

Market Fair, High Town, Hereford, from 10.30am 

Wellington Village Stores, from midday

"Due to current stock levels, we have limited the amount of kits distributed at each pop-up to enable us to distribute kits across different locations of the county," Dr Howell-Jones said.

"This has meant that, on some occasions, we have had to unfortunately close sessions early."

She said there are different ways to access lateral flow tests, with online ordering, pharmacy collection and the council's pop-up sites, as well as some "setting-specific routes", such as schools.


She added: "Online ordering does close later in the day if demand has been high. However, it is often possible to order kits earlier in the day."

The UK Health Security Agency said it believes people staying in isolation until they get two negative lateral flow results on days six and seven remains “the optimal approach at present”.

The Prime Minister has been facing calls from MPs and business chiefs to follow suit in the UK in order to help ease staff absences across the economy and public services.

The isolation period has already been cut from 10 days to seven, and on Monday Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said “if it is possible to go further then we will do so”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is among ministers keen on the economic benefits of reducing the period to five days, according to the Daily Telegraph, while Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has suggested the move could help ease staffing problems.

On Tuesday an educational leader said she would be in favour of the isolation period in England being cut to five days as schools face staff shortages.