Free lateral flow tests near me: When do I need to pay for tests and where can I still get one in Leeds?

The government has begun phasing out free lateral flow tests under their new scheme "learning to live with Covid".

By Abi Whistance
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 10:20 am

Under the current system, lateral flow tests can be ordered free or picked up from pharmacies and community centres by anyone who does not have Covid symptoms.

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People with symptoms can also order a free PCR test kit to be sent to their home or book an appointment at a walk-in test site.

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Last month Boris Johnson confirmed that under the government's "learning to live with Covid" scheme, free lateral flow and PCR tests would be cut.

However, last month the Prime Minister announced that these free tests will be scrapped under a government scheme to encourage personal responsibility with Covid.

Below is everything you need to know about the scrapping of free lateral flow tests.

When will free tests stop being available?

Last month Boris Johnson confirmed that under the government's "learning to live with Covid" scheme, free lateral flow and PCR tests would be cut.

The Prime Minister said that free testing would come to an end on April 1 - with sources suggesting that this will coincide with improving weather conditions that help lessen the spread of the virus.

The public have already been blocked from requesting more tests if they had placed an order for lateral flow tests within the last 72 hours.

How will I buy a lateral flow test if I think I have Covid?

Boots pharmacy has already begun selling single Covid tests despite free kits still being available via the NHS until 1 April.

The pharmacy offers the tests at £2.50 for one or £12 for a pack of five, or £17 for a pack of four with the bonus option to send results to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Find your nearest Boots pharmacy using the store locator tool on the Boots website.

Superdrug is also selling tests, however these are Medicspot Lateral Flow Day 2, or "Fit to Fly Travel" tests, for £19.99.

Will anyone be eligible for free testing?

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is expected to announce which at-risk groups will be eligible for free symptomatic testing.

It is thought this will include people over 80 or with compromised immune systems, as well as NHS and social care staff.

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