COVID-19 Testing rates per head of population: FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

I have now completed my review of our failure to respond to your request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA). In accordance with Section 21(4) of FOISA, I have also reached a decision on your request.

I have establish the reasons for our failure to respond on time was entirely due to the significant volume of correspondence we are receiving at this time. Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding.

Please find my response to your request below.

You requested the information below:

"Testing rates per head of population in Scotland recently - for both PCR and LFD tests - have been significantly higher than in England and Wales. However, this is reflective of the fact that - since around the time of our schools returning - our levels of infection have also been higher- Nicola Sturgeon 8th September 2021

  • Please can you state the time period the analysis covered.
  • Please provide the exact figures and calculations used for each of Scotland, England, and for Wales, and for each of the PCR and LFD test comparisons.
  • Please provide links to the specific published data that was used in the numerical calculations made for each of the three countries.”


The attached spreadsheet contains the figures and calculations used for comparing PCR testing rates across the UK nations and LFD testing for England and Scotland from March 2020 up to September 2021. All data is sourced and can be accessed from the UK Government dashboard available here.

Please see links in the spreadsheet for the exact data downloaded for use in calculations. LFD testing data for England can also be found on the UK Government dashboard whereas for Scotland, this is published by Public Health Scotland as part of their weekly statistical report available here.

LFD testing for Wales is available from the Public Health Wales dashboard here.

Infection rates are estimated weekly by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Infection Survey, results published both on the Scottish Government and the ONS website, please see: Coronavirus (COVID- 19): infection survey - ( and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK - Office for National Statistics respectively.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100245964 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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