Covid-19: Sir Patrick Vallance warns 'virus hasn't gone away'
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Free coronavirus testing will come to an end in England from Friday, April 1, as part of the Government’s “Living with Covid” plan. It marks the full end of coronavirus measures in England after more than two years of living in a pandemic.
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Thanks to our plan to tackle Covid we are leading the way in learning to live with the virus.
“Vaccines remain our best defence and we are now offering spring boosters to the elderly, care home residents and the most vulnerable – please come forward to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”
The Government has confirmed that tests could be rolled out again for free if a new variant of concern emerges or if cases skyrocket.
It comes as most parts of the UK report high levels of the virus, with an estimated one in 16 people carrying Covid last week.
How much will lateral flow tests cost?
There is no set price for lateral flow tests, as you will not be able to buy and order them from the Government.
However, the devices will be available in pharmacies and high street stores, like Boots.
Boots are selling a singular test for £2.50, or £12.50 for a pack of five.
You can pick them up for cheaper in Superdrug, which is selling singular tests for £1.99 and five packs for £9.79.
Covid test provider Randox is selling packs of three lateral flow tests for £15 and a pack of 12 lateral flow tests for £47.50.
Government approved provider 0 Covid Clear has priced a single lateral flow test at £14.99.
The Government has created an approved list of lateral flow test providers here with contact details.
The following groups can still access free testing:
• NHS patients in hospital, who will be tested via the established NHS testing programme
• those eligible for COVID-19 antiviral and other treatments, who will be sent a pack of tests and can request replacements if they need them
• NHS staff and staff working in NHS-funded independent healthcare provision – the current lateral flow test ordering portal will remain available for this group to order their own tests
• adult social care staff in care homes, homecare organisations, extra care and supported living settings and adult day care centres, as well as residents in care homes and extra care and supported living settings via the established organisation ordering portal
• adult social care social workers, personal assistants, Shared Lives carers and CQC inspectors will be able to order tests from the current online lateral flow ordering system
• staff and patients in hospices will be supplied tests by the hospice
• staff and detainees in prisons and other places of detention will be supplied tests by by the detention premises as currently happens
• staff and detainees in immigration removal centres will be supplied tests, as currently happens, by the organisation concerned
• staff and users of high-risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings
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