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<p>Superdrug and Boots are selling single tests (Jane Barlow/PA)</p>

Superdrug and Boots are selling single tests (Jane Barlow/PA)

Covid: Where can I buy a lateral flow test and how much does it cost?

Free universal testing will be scrapped from 1 April for most people

Kate Ng
Thursday 31 March 2022 11:51
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The government will no longer provide free universal Covid-19 testing for most of the public from 1 April, as part of its plan for living with the virus.

While people can currently still order lateral flow tests for free via the government’s website, this will come to an end this week.

In an announcement on Tuesday 29 March, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said that those at risk of serious illness from Covid-19 will continue to get free tests if they develop symptoms of the virus.

NHS staff and adult social care staff and those in other “high-risk settings” will also continue to be eligible.

For the general public, Covid tests will only be available commercially. The government said it is “working with retailers to ensure that everyone who wants can buy a test”.

It has published an approved list of lateral flow test providers, which can be found here.

Some highstreet retailers, including Boots and Superdrug are already selling lateral flow tests, with prices starting at £1.99.

Here is everything you need to know about getting lateral flow tests after 1 April.

Where can I buy a lateral flow test and how much will it cost?

Boots and Superdrug already have LFTs for sale.

Boots is selling a single test for £2, a pack of two LFTs for £3.95 and a pack of five for £9.80.

Superdrug is selling a single test for £1.99.

Asif Aziz, director of healthcare services at Boots UK, said: “We are pleased to be expanding our Covid-19 testing services even further, with affordable lateral flow testing options for those who still want peace of mind from asymptomatic testing after 1 April.

“While it is great that we are returning to normal and finding a way to live with Covid-19, we encourage our customers and patients to stay safe and continue to take measures to limit the spread of the virus, especially to those in vulnerable groups.”

Boots said it will offer lateral flow tests in more than 400 stores.

According to British Airways’ list of approved Covid test suppliers for travel purposes, at-home lateral flow test kits provided by companies such as Randox, Eurofins, Medicspot and Breathe Assured can range from £9.96 to £20.16.

Can I still get free lateral flow tests?

Yes, but the government has restricted orders of free lateral flow test kits to one pack of seven tests every three days. Previously, people were able to order a free kit every 24 hours.

Why will lateral flow tests no longer be free?

The government has provided more than two billion lateral flow tests to the British public for free since 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the system has cost £15.7 billion in this financial year and £2 billion in January alone, adding that the government “must now scale this back”.

The government said it has retained a stockpile of lateral flow tests to enable a rapid testing response “should it be needed, such as the emergence of a new variant”.

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