Calls have been made for rural Perthshire residents to have greater access to home testing kits for Covid-19.
The Courier understands ome locals have been trying unsuccessfully for days to obtain the kits which would stop them having to travel long distances to test centres in Dundee and Stirling.
A mobile testing unit has since been set up at the Broxden Park and Ride site in Perth, where it will be in place until Monday August 31.
Politicians in Highland Perthshire are concerned the lack of available tests means people in rural areas without private transport will find it impossible to get checked for coronavirus.
SNP councillor for Highland Perthshire, Mike Williamson, said: “People in Highland Perthshire are at a significant disadvantage in terms of being geographically much further away from testing centres than most other people in Scotland.
“Whether it be not having a private vehicle, or the increased costs involved in getting to testing facilities, it is imperative that we get more home testing kits available for our rural communities.”
Pete Wishart MP said he has raised the matter with UK Government ministers to make the kits more readily available to those in rural locations.
He said: “I am deeply concerned to hear that people in Highland Perthshire are struggling to get tested for Covid symptoms at home.
“Whilst I completely understand that home testing kits are at a premium for those who have no access to a private vehicle, I would have thought it prudent to ensure some of these kits were reserved for our more rural areas, which tend to be further away from testing centres.
“I am keen to ensure that nobody else is put in a position of not being able to access a home testing kit if they cannot practically get to a testing site.”
The UK Government website states that testing is “most effective” within three days of symptoms developing and that home testing kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house.
The government site explains that availability of home testing kits will be “initially limited.”