Covid tests: how much do lateral flow tests cost in Sheffield and which groups are still eligible for free coronavirus tests
From today (April 1), the majority of people in England will have to pay for lateral flow tests as the Government scales back free Covid testing.
The change means people will have to start paying for a test, even if they have coronavirus symptoms, with only certain people eligible for free testing.
Here is everything you need to know about getting lateral flow tests after 1 April.
Who will continue to get free tests?
From 1 April, the Government has confirmed free symptomatic testing will continue to be provided for the following groups:
Patients in hospital, where a PCR test is required for their care and to provide access to treatments and to support ongoing clinical surveillance for new variants.
Those eligible for community Covid treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus. People in this group will receive lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms.
People living or working in some high-risk settings, including staff in adult social care services, residents in care homes and extra care and supported living services, NHS workers and those working and living in hospices, prisons and places of detention (including immigration removal centres).
People will also be tested before being discharged from hospital into care homes and hospices.
Why have free tests been scrapped?
The government said that spending on free tests has come at a “significant cost” and must now be scaled back.
Sajid Javid said resources will be focused on people who need it most, including some hospital patients and those at a high risk of severe Covid.
Mr Javid said: “We are one of the most open and free countries in the world now, and that’s because of decisions that we’ve taken as a country… and it is right also as we learn to live with Covid that we withdraw free testing – universally… if it’s not needed anymore, but we focus those resources on the people that need it most. And that’s what we’re doing.”
How much will Covid tests cost?
Anyone needing a test after 1 April will have to pay between £2 and £5 per individual lateral flow test or around £20 for a pack of seven.
Some high street retailers, including Boots and Tesco, are selling lateral flow tests, with prices starting at £2.
Where can I get lateral flow tests?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was “working with retailers to ensure everyone who wants to can buy a test” after the free provision ends.
Lloyds Pharmacy is selling single lateral flow test kits for just £1.89 or up to a pack of five for £9.29 (£1.86 per test), available in-store and online.
Meanwhile, Boots Pharmacy is offering lateral flow test kits in more than 400 of its stores and online for £2 each or a pack of five for £9.80.
Tesco Pharmacy will be selling LFTs in 1,500 Tesco stores across the UK, starting at £2.
Morrisons Pharmacy is selling single lateral flow tests for £1.75 in-store.