Construction halted on Covid testing megalab in Scotland

Construction of a Covid-19 testing megalab is to be halted, the UK Government has announced.

In November, the Government announced that a new megalab was being constructed in Scotland, with an expectation that it would be operational in early 2021.

The lab was expected to add 300,000 to the UK’s daily testing capacity of coronavirus tests.

However, on Tuesday the Government announced that construction on the Scottish lab was to stop while it assessed the long-term demand for the lab.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Since the start of the pandemic, the UK has increased the capacity of our laboratories by more than tenfold, as well as setting up an entirely new nationwide network of lighthouse labs and partner laboratories to process Covid-19 swab samples.

“With the vaccine rollout under way across the UK, development of one of the planned very high throughput labs has been paused until the impact of the vaccine on the long-term demand for PCR testing can be assessed.

“Substantial testing capacity remains in place and this will not prevent anyone from getting a test.”