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Leaked Document Suggests Public To Pay For Lateral Flow Tests By June 2022

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Leaked Document Suggests Public To Pay For Lateral Flow Tests By June 2022

A leaked document suggests the government plans to end the provision of free lateral flow Covid-19 tests by June 2022.

The paper, which was seen by Reuters, seems to show that the original time for the ending of free test provision was earlier in 2022, but has been put back after the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The document appears to have been shared between various health agencies in order to prepare for potential scenarios.

It states that officials are planning for an online order system that will see British people paying for packs of tests by the end of June this year.

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However, that move could be scrapped if the virus chucks another ‘curve ball’ at us, as it did with the emergence of the new and more transmissible variant towards the end of last year.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

So far, the government has remained tight-lipped about what the packs of tests will actually cost, but one source told Reuters that it could be as much as £30 for a pack of seven LFTs.

This leaked document has emerged just days after Nadhim Zahawi, a member of the beleaguered Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet, said that there were ‘absolutely not’ plans to get rid of the provision of free rapid antigen tests.

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Downing Street has also insisted that no decision has been made on when free lateral flow test kits will no longer be provided.

This latest news comes as Boris Johnson announced to Parliament that the government plans to end many Covid-19 restrictions, including the mandated wearing of face masks.

He also said to MPs that he ‘very much expects’ to get rid of the legally binding obligation for those with Covid-19 to self-isolate as of 24 March, or even before.

Johnson said: “There will soon come a time when we can remove the legal requirement to self-isolate altogether - just as we don’t place legal obligations on people to isolate if they have flu.

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“As Covid becomes endemic we will need to replace legal requirements with advice and guidance urging people with the virus to be careful and considerate of others.

“The self-isolation regulations expire on 24 March, at which point I very much expect not to renew them.

“Indeed, were the data to allow, I would like to seek a vote in this House to bring that date forwards.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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On the matter of LFT provision, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: "Lateral flow tests remain free to use and we continue to encourage people to access them.

"In our autumn and winter plan which we published last year we were clear that at a later stage the Government, as our response to the virus evolves, universal free provision of things like lateral flow tests will end and we will update once we are in that position.

"There's been no decision made on when that will be, it will depend on what we see in terms of the epidemiology in this country, and we will keep that under review."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Boris Johnson, Politics, Coronavirus, Health, Science

Tom Wood
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