Covid Sheffield: Would you pay for a Covid test? Star readers react to the planned end to free Covid testing

Earlier this week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the end of free Covid tests from April.

Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 11:30 am

It has since been revealed that the pharmacy chain Boots will begin selling single tests for £5.99 from today, despite free testing kits being available from the NHS until 1 April.

Overseas things are a little different, with some countries placing a price cap on Covid tests. Spain has a £2.45 limit and in France the current maximum is £5 but is set to be lowered further.

We asked our readers if they would pay for a Covid test if they thought they may have the illness, and this is what they had to say:

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 29: In this photo illustration a man uses a COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit at home on September 29, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. Australians will be able to use rapid antigen tests from November 1, following approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

John T Homas was very clear on his view, “As a key worker who was ran into the ground while others got paid to stay home, nope.”

Helen Mason added her views on the matter, “No, I'm already paying higher energy, shopping and phone bill costs.”

Holly Alicia Dixon said, “I will not being paying for any test or anything to do with COVID.”

Emma Billingham is a firm, “Nope, if I seriously thought covid or flu I would isolate anyway.” A take that Nina Smith shares, “No. I'd do the same as if I was poorly with anything else and use my common sense.”

And, Jason Middleton said, “Not a chance and he only withdrawing it is because him and his cronies have been busted milking the system.”

Andy Barclay’s response was a very clear, “NO.. struggling to survive as it is without having to pay...... Why doesn't Boris & his Chums go & collect all that taxpayers money they gave to their Chums who couldn't provide the PPE at the start of this pandemic...”

Sharon Lavette added her view, “Nope, he said we live with it, so if you get ill enough to need hospital treatment they will test anyway there, same as pneumonia etc and will treat accordingly.”

Fiona Fisher offered her take, “When you are ill you go to GP for diagnosis and then receive treatment / or a prescription for medication. This service is paid for through national insurance payments taken directly from our wages. So no, I would not pay for a LFT, I would go to the GP where I would expect a doctor to diagnose whether I had a viral or bacterial infection and then recommend treatment. I would only expect to pay for the prescription because I would have already paid for the rest through NI.”

Charlotte Emily Ruther says that, “With the cost of everything rising and no pay rise what do you think? I’d rather isolate if I had symptoms. What about us that have to test everyday? I ain’t using my wage to pay for tests so I can go to work to pay for tests.” It was a view that many people shared on the matter.

Meanwhile, Judith Wainwright says that she would, “Yes, but really there is no need to test if we don’t have to isolate. Personally, I would isolate, people need to take responsibility instead of blaming Boris all the time. As they say, ‘worse things happen at sea’. Her views were shared by Sarah Fox, who said, “Yes as we all still need to be responsible and protect the vulnerable.”

Amanda Whiteley would begrudgingly fork out for a test, if she had to, “I wouldn't have a choice if I wanted to save people's lifes. They should be free.”

Some people had a completely different take on the situation, believing that something else was going on. Lee Roberts put forward the opinion that, “Hardly anyone will and the government know that. Keeps the figures down for them though.”

Linda Evans asked whether, “Has anyone calculated the cost of new infections, from stopping people self-isolating, stopping them testing (unless they pay), and cost of unnecessary deaths? No? It could well be cheaper to carry on with free testing. But it will stretch the NHS further and make it easier to privatise, so it's a win for the Tories there.”

Meanwhile, Zoe Street was keen to point out that the tests have, “Never been free. They will have to be paid for through tax increases, along with all the furlough money handed out.” Her take was supported with a number of thumbs up from other readers who gave her response 27 ‘thumbs up’ reactions.

David Rayner also took pains to not that payment has already happened, “We do through taxes!”

Some people took a different view of the situation though, as was the case with Paul Flewitt, who said, “And again, the local comments section clearly illustrates why asking the British public to be responsible and look after each other is laughable.”