How hard is it to get a Covid test in Great Yarmouth?

James Weeds and Greyfriars Pharmacy

Reporter James Weeds was able to get his hands on a lateral flow test at Greyfriars Pharmacy. - Credit: James Weeds

As pharmacists warn of major problems in the supply of lateral flow kits, reporter James Weeds explored what the situation is like in Great Yarmouth in getting one.

I visited several pharmacies across the town to see if I could get my hands on a lateral flow test so I could be rest assured I did not have Covid before my New Year's Eve celebrations.

I began at Day Lewis on Lawn Avenue and immediately spotted a sign informing customers that there were currently no lateral flow tests available.

Day Lewis Pharmacy

Day Lewis Pharmacy did not have lateral flow tests at 10am on Thursday. - Credit: James Weeds

I was told an order had been made, but the pharmacy had not received an update yet.

Over at Asda, the situation was the same.

The assistant said that many pharmacies "are in the same boat".

On King Street, Town Pharmacy said they had a supply and informed me on how to get a collection code.

A flyer from NHS Track and Trace

People have to provide a collect code before getting their lateral flow test kits from pharmacies. - Credit: NHS Track and Trace

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While I followed the instructions on the leaflet and placed an order for a code, I visited Greyfriars Pharmacy.

Greyfriars Pharmacy

Greyfriars Pharmacy had lateral flow tests available on Thursday. - Credit: James Weeds

They too had lateral flow tests available and in exchange for my collect code, I walked out of the pharmacy with one box of lateral flow tests.

Back at the office, my result was negative and I feel a lot more at ease about seeing in the new year with friends tomorrow night.

James Weeds with a lateral flow test box

Reporter James Weeds was able to get a lateral flow test box from Greyfriars Pharmacy on Thursday. - Credit: James Weeds

With lateral flow tests found, I then checked to see if it was possible to book a PCR test.

Not having any symptoms, I wasn't going to book a PCR test, but decided to see if one was still available.

A screenshot from gov.uk

Home PCR test kits were not available on Thursday. - Credit: gov.uk

After going to the government website, I discovered that - at the time of writing - PCR test bookings were not available in all of England and Northern Ireland.

A screenshot from gov.uk

PCR tests were not available across England on Thursday morning. - Credit: gov.uk

The only place I could book a test was in Wales and Scotland.

A screenshot from gov.uk

PCR tests were available in Scotland and Wales on Thursday. - Credit: gov.uk

This comes as Boris Johnson suggested that people should go ahead with their festivities this New Year's Eve, but they should take tests beforehand to check they do not have Covid.

However, pharmacists have warned of major problems in the supply of lateral flow kits, with many people wanting tests being turned away empty handed.

Walk-in Covid vaccine appointments are available on Thursday inside Market Gates and at the Louise Hamilton Centre at James Paget University Hospital.