Scientists are warning that testing supply for travellers will fail to ‘keep up with omicron.’
Jeffrey Barrett, a Chief Scientific Officer at Nightingale Health in Finland, has warned: “Testing capacity will almost certainly fail to keep up with omicron.” He suggests the trend will happen across the globe, at the same time, causing testing suppliers to ‘struggle.’
A spokesman for travel testing giant Randox, who sends around 80 per cent of its tests to the NHS, said it’s certainly “conceivable” that demand could outstrip supply and hinder travel plans. However, he added that the company has raised its capacity to 180,000 tests a day, as many as it has managed at any point in the pandemic.
With recently enhanced testing requirements in the UK, arrivals in Britain could face delays to their mandatory Day 2 tests – several top Covid test providers have already said they can’t guarantee to deliver results on time over Christmas, due to high demand. The news comes as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps blamed ‘distribution issues’ for millions of Britons being unable to order testing kits.
If supply problems persist there runs the risk of test shortages becoming an issue in all countries where tests are required to access the services like bars, restaurants and even the ski slopes.
In Austria, British teenagers aged 12 to 15 need to carry out two antigen tests plus one PCR test during a week’s ski holiday in order to access the slopes this winter – putting huge pressure on resorts. While British visitors to the popular French resort of Val d’Isere are reportedly unable to book PCR tests at the local testing centre, with no appointments available online until mid January.
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