Tom Watson, the Chair of the Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation (LTIO), said:
“Experts are predicting another rise in Covid cases and hospital admissions due to the spread of the BA.5 and BA.4 Covid variants. As we have consistently reminded the Government, regular testing has a vital role to play to prevent future lockdowns and to enable the country to react quickly if there is a new variant or a surge in infections. However, with mass testing scaled back, the country will be in a precarious situation. The Government should be ready to ramp up testing rapidly and provide support to businesses who are already struggling to navigate the challenges of bringing staff back into the office.
“After the battle of the last two years, no-one wants the NHS to be under pressure with a surprise Covid variant. We cannot afford for a new wave to erupt with inadequate testing capacity. It will undermine the national focus on clearing the NHS backlog, as millions are waiting for critical care and diagnostic testing. The independent diagnostic industry stands ready to deploy its resources to help with the national effort to clear the backlog.”