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1,800 jobs at Covid test lab as tougher lockdown looms

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Rapid testing centre will come to Scotland

A mega-laboratory designed to process huge numbers of Covid-19 tests will be based in Scotland and create 1,800 jobs.

The high throughput lab is one of two being set up by the Department for Health and Social Care.

The announcement comes amid speculation that the Scottish Government will introduce tougher restrictions for areas where cases have stabilised but remain “stubbornly” high.

Some parts of the central belt could be put into the top tier Level Four meaning closure of all but essential businesses for two weeks. The next review is on Tuesday (17 November).

Commenting on the new mega-lab, Linda Hanna, interim CEO of Scottish Enterprise, said: “The decision to choose Scotland as a location for this ultra-high throughput lab is a real vote of confidence.

“This new mega-lab will ramp-up the number of tests that can be processed each day, while also delivering a significant jobs boost and new supply chain opportunities for Scottish companies.

“We’re pleased to have played our part in bringing this mega-lab to Scotland, building on our existing work to support frontline services with critical COVID-19 supplies. Scottish Enterprise will continue to work with our partners across the public and private sectors to tackle this global pandemic.”

The Scotland lab will process up to 300,000 samples a day when operating at full capacity, meaning faster turnaround times for test results. 

The other lab will be based in Leamington Spa, with both expected to open in early 2021.

The location of the lab in Scotland is still to be confirmed.

Boris Johnson self-isolating

Boris Johnson is beginning his first working day in self-isolation in Downing Street after meeting an MP who later tested positive for Covid-19.

The prime minister said he was “pinged” by NHS Test and Trace on Sunday and told to self-isolate, but remains well.

Mr Johnson on Thursday spent about 35 minutes with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who lost his sense of taste the next day.

It comes as the government prepares a policy relaunch after fierce internal rows and departures from No 10.



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