The Boots store in Stornoway is to introduce in-store PCR swab testing for Covid-19 from April.
By doing testing in the morning and using the Royal Mail 24-hour delivery service they will be able to get samples to the laboratory within the required period for a 48-hour response.
In addition, the store will also be receiving one of the new instore testing devices in the first week of April. This machine undertakes rapid antigen testing and can give results within minutes for customers.
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.
Angus MacNeil MP commented: “I was delighted to hear from Boots today that they will be introducing PCR testing in Stornoway from April. This is something which I had been discussing with them for some time.
“I worked with local offshore workers to provide Boots with a long list of firms who employ workers from the islands and they are now looking to engage with those firms regarding the new instore testing devices.
“This is very positive news and will overcome one of the challenges which has faced those in employment away from their island homes during the pandemic.”
Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “This is really good news from Boots and I am grateful for them in taking the islands situation into account in their rollout of testing stations.
“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 or at sea.
“I hope that this new facility in the Stornoway store will help ensure that those islanders working away will be able to spend more time with their loved ones when on leave.”