On April 1, 2022, free Covid testing was scrapped by the Government in a bid to “focus resources” on people who are most in need of testing measures. The decision means most people in England will now need to shop on the high street to access tests, which can cost anywhere between £1.75 and £12.99. Top retailers including Boots, Tesco, and Lloyds have plenty of test kits in stock, but where will you find the cheapest rates?
The Government is now urging people in England who have a cough or cold to “stay home and avoid contact with other people” under new COVID-19 guidance.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the country needs to “learn to live with Covid”, indicating that the latest changes to the testing programme are part of the Government’s plan to move forward from the tough restrictions the country previously faced.
Despite rising case numbers across the UK, the updated instructions for Britons encourage people to only test when necessary, using shop-bought test kits purchased on their own accord.
While some groups will still have access to free lateral flow and PCR testing measures, the majority of people in England will be forced to shop around for the cheapest rates on supermarket shelves.
To make things easier, Express.co.uk have rounded up the latest prices for test kits at five of the nation’s major retailers.
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At Boots Pharmacy, you can purchase Flowflex antigen Rapid Test lateral flow test kits both in-store and online.
The prices are as follows:
- £2.00 for a single lateral flow test
- £3.75 for a pack of two
- £7.90 for a pack of four
- £9.80 for a pack of five
- £14.99 for a verified lateral flow test with a certificate (suitable for travel)
Tesco pharmacy offers lateral flow tests in more than 1,500 locations across the UK, with prices starting from £2.00 for Everything Genetic self-testing rapid tests.
Customers in London will be able to make online purchases, though this will not be rolled out to other parts of the UK until May.
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Cheapest places to buy lateral flow tests – Boots, Tesco, Lloyds and more prices compared
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Who can access free lateral flow tests?
While free lateral flow testing is no longer widely available, there are some groups which are still entitled to them.
According to Government guidelines, free tests for people who have COVID-19 symptoms will continue to be provided to the following groups:
- NHS patients in hospital – tested via the established NHS testing programme
- Those eligible for COVID-19 antiviral and other treatments – will be sent tests
- NHS staff and staff working for NHS-funded independent healthcare provisions – online test ordering portal
- Adult social care social workers and personal assistants – online test ordering portal
- Shared Lives carers and CQC inspectors – online test ordering portal
- Staff and patients in hospices – tests supplied by the hospice
- Staff and detainees in prisons and other places of detentions – supplied by premises
- Staff and detainees in immigration removal centres – supplied by premises
- Staff and users of high-risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings
Free testing for asymptomatic individuals will continue to be made available to the following groups:
- Adult social care staff
- Hospice staff
- Patient-facing staff in the NHS and NHS-funded independent healthcare provision
- Some staff in prisons and other places of detention
- Some staff in refuges and shelters
- A small number of visitors to care homes and hospices if they are providing personal care