Nicola Sturgeon assured Scotland will not face Covid test shortage

First Minister Sturgeon Credit: PA

Nicola Sturgeon said she has been assured by the UK Government that access to testing will not be restricted and Scotland will have a “fair share” of laboratory capacity to process tests.

The Scottish First Minister said a “capacity constraint” across the UK testing system was delaying test results because labs are struggling to keep up with demand.

But Ms Sturgeon said she had spoken to UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock who insisted that testing in Scotland will not be rationed, as is happening in England.

On Monday, the First Minister had said that Mr Hancock proposed limiting the number of slots available for testing in Scottish mobile and regional test centres.

However, his Scottish counterpart Jeane Freeman “managed to avoid that happening” during negotiations over the weekend, Ms Sturgeon said.

Responding to a question from Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard about potential testing restriction, she added:

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Scotland's R number could be as high as 1.4. Credit: PA

Asked about an apparent lack of testing for home care workers, Ms Sturgeon said the Government is keeping the professions eligible for regular, routine testing under review.

Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone said she was “deeply worried” about the testing system “collapsing” and called for a new strategy to help NHS Scotland meet demand.