Island politicians fight for private Covid-19 testing kits has proved successful

Private Covid-19 PCR tests will soon be available in the Western Isles as Superdrug have confirmed their Stornoway store will be stocking home testing kits.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 9:45 am
Superdrug on the island is now stocking the test kits.

This follows representations that Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan and MP Angus MacNeil have made to health retailers to address the lack of private testing in the islands. Boots are also now considering how they can assist with this situation.

A negative PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 test is an entry requirement for many countries. The island parliamentarians had been contacted by many of their constituents who were having to leave their homes days in advance in order to get a test on the mainland prior to travelling abroad for work.

Angus MacNeil MP commented: “This is really good news and something which I have been pursuing for some time.

“This will make a huge improvement for the many workers from the islands who have encountered difficulties in securing valid tests.

“I am also in contact with Boots who are actively looking at how they may also be able to assist with this situation.”

Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “This is a really positive move from Superdrug and I am grateful to them for responding so promptly to our enquiries.

“As the pandemic has gone on and countries have introduced testing requirements at their borders this has presented real problems for those who work abroad. People like offshore oil and gas workers were having to have even less time with their families to access private testing on the mainland.

“I hope that this will make their lives a little bit easier as we all adjust to the new normal.”

A spokesperson for Superdrug said: “The PCR test tells you if you have COVID-19.

"You or a healthcare professional use a long cotton swab to take samples from deep inside your nose and the back of your throat. The test looks for traces of the virus, more specifically the genetic information (or RNA) specific to COVID-19. These tests can detect RNA before any symptoms show, making them effective at picking up the disease early.”