Lateral flow tests will be free to order online until at least end of August, government confirms

People with no Covid symptoms can currently access the tests at no cost

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 08 July 2021 15:44
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<p>Asymptomatic people have been able to access free lateral flow tests in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid</p>

Asymptomatic people have been able to access free lateral flow tests in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid

The public will be able to order lateral flow tests online for free until at least the end of August, the government has confirmed.

It comes weeks after parliament was told the free asymptomatic testing using the devices would be extended until the end of this month.

The government has now the scheme will run until at least the end of August.

“Regular testing using rapid lateral flow tests is essential to controlling Covid-19 and variants of concern as restrictions are lifted,” a Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson told The Independent on Thursday.

“So far 251,126 positive cases have been detected using LFDs that wouldn’t have been found otherwise, helping to break chains of transmission and save lives.”

The spokesperson added: “In England you can continue to order free LFDs online until at least the end of August 2021.

“Details of any extension of the programme will be set out in due course.”

The pharmacy collection service - which also lets people with no Covid symptoms get free rapid tests - will also run until at least the end of next month.

It comes afterThe Independent reported there would be a forthcoming statement about how long free rapid tests would be provided to the public.

On the same day in mid-June the government announced England’s roadmap out of lockdown would be pushed back, Matt Hancock, then-health secretary, said asymptomatic testing would continue to be offered until the end of this month.

In spring this year, the government said everyone in England could access two free rapid flow tests a week in a new testing regime in a bid to prevent Covid outbreaks.

Lateral flow tests have also been made available in workplaces to allow those without Covid symptoms to get tested.

It is estimated around a third of people with coronavirus do not show any symptoms.

The government says employers have until 19 July to order free rapid lateral flow tests for employees.

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