COVID tests in the Western Isles will now take up to 72 hours for local residents following a technical fault.

NHS Western Isles has said that due to a technical issue with their lab in Stornoway all Covid tests will be sent to a lab in Edinburgh.

This means that people who send away their PCR tests will have to wait an extra 24-hours for their results.

A spokesperson for the health board said: “Whilst this was unavoidable, NHS Western Isles would like to apologise sincerely for the implications of this issue.

“In particular, it is likely, and we anticipate that the timescale for all tests results to be returned will increase for a period to around 72-hours.   

“We are taking every possible action to resolve the issue with replacement equipment as quickly as possible.”

NHS Western also revealed that they could not confirm the length of time it will take to resolve the issue.

However, they are attempting to reassure the public that for urgent hospital admissions, there is a separate system in place called Point of Care testing.

The spokesperson added: “Regular updates will be provided, and we would like to thank our local community for their understanding.”