Demand for coronavirus tests booms as dinner parties and barbecues resume

As the temperature rises and lockdown restrictions are eased further, one coronavirus testing firm has seen a boom in demand for kits at family BBQs and dinner parties.

Beacon Wellness, which was set up by housing developer Peter Mahoney to distribute antibody tests to employers, has received about 1,000 orders in recent weeks after the Government allowed two households to meet indoors for the first time since March.

Mr Mahoney set up the firm last month to make it easier for employers to access testing kits for staff. The rapid finger-prick tests cost £79 each and are self-administered with the supervision of a medical professional over video conferencing service Zoom. 

However, Mr Mahoney said the company has seen a shift away from employers purchasing the products toward demand from individuals.

“What we’ve been quite taken aback by is the amount of enquiries from individuals and families, people wanting to go on holiday, reconnect with elderly parents or going to barbecues to meet friends,” he said.

“With the easing of lockdown, people have been isolating but want to take that extra precaution before reconnecting with loved ones.”

In one case, a customer hosting a barbecue was forced to send a friend home after he tested positive for coronavirus despite showing no symptoms.

Last month the company secured a contract to supply kits to rangers in the Lake District national park and is in talks with a major airport group after the easing of restrictions on some international travel.

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