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Free NHS Lateral Flow Tests Are Being Flogged For Up To £150 Online

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

Free NHS Lateral Flow Tests Are Being Flogged For Up To £150 Online

With many people struggling to order free lateral flow tests online at the moment, opportunists have started flogging them on auction sites for as much as £150. 

Recently, some Brits have found they’re unable to find any tests for home delivery, despite assurances that there are plenty available. 

Credit: gov.uk
Credit: gov.uk

After logging their details on the government website, they’ve been met with a message that says: “Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for these tests right now. 

“The 119 service does not have access to more home delivery slots right now. 

“You cannot order tests from NHS 111 or 999.” 

Those hoping to test asymptomatically are instead encouraged to head to a ‘pharmacy or collection point’ to see if you can pick some up in person, while anyone with symptoms needs to book a PCR test. 

As the issue continues, it seems a number of people are attempting to cash in on the supposed shortage, having turned to sites like eBay to sell the free tests for extortionate prices.  

Credit: eBay
Credit: eBay

One box of ‘Unopened lateral flow test kit, 7 Tests’ was listed for a buy-it-now price of £150, with eight people ‘watching’ the item within just 24 hours. 

However, the listing has since been removed from the eBay website.

The Sun reports that, along with eBay, tests have been seen on other sites like Facebook with a price tag of up to £100.

eBay told the outlet that testing sales were banned and how it is removing such listings. 

Credit: eBay
Credit: eBay

Professor Ravi Gupta, clinical microbiologist at the University of Cambridge, told Sky News the lack of available tests was 'a great concern', saying: "Because, of course, we already have so many cases that therefore the probability of an individual being in a social environment on New Year's Eve and being positive, even if they have potentially tested negative in the last 24 hours, is fairly high.

"The transmissions are going to be significant and, of course, the availability of tests... of lateral flow testing... is going to compound that problem.

"So I'm personally very worried about what's going to happen next year."

Health minister Edward Argar has insisted that there is no shortage of free kits, saying people should remain patient as supplies as ‘ramped up’. 

Argar said: “Tests are available. We advise people to keep going on the website to refresh it and they will find that every hour more slots are available for booking one for delivery or for collecting from pharmacies. 

“We’ve ramped up supply to reflect that and you’ll continue to see that supply increasing in the coming weeks.” 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the government plans to triple the supply of lateral flow tests to 300 million per month by February.

He added that as current shortages persist, the government expects 'to need to constrain the system at certain points over the next two weeks'.

LADbible has reached out to eBay for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News

Jess Hardiman
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