Exclusive: Britain gearing up for late June switch to paid COVID testing – document

Exclusive: Britain gearing up for late June switch to paid COVID testing – document

The tests have freely available to order online or pick up from local pharmacies since April. The UK Health Security Agency said that between Dec. 30 and Jan. 5 more than 8 million LFDs were conducted, the highest weekly figure on record. The Department of Health has declined to say what the tests cost, citing commercial contracts. One source has said they can run to 30 pounds ($40.75) for a pack of seven. The document seen by Reuters, which was shared between health agencies to prepare scenarios for the change, shows that the timetable for the switch has been pushed back from earlier in the year because of the arrival of the Omicron variant.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com The government has previously said it will end the universal free provision of easy-to-use lateral flow devices (LFDs) at a “later stage”, with individuals and businesses bearing the cost.

Register Britain has been increasingly dependent on rapid testing to try to tackle the more-transmissible Omicron variant, which has spread rapidly through the population but is less severe.

The document says officials are now working on the premise that an online ordering system should be ready at the end of June to direct most people, excluding key workers and some others, to providers of paid-for LFDs in what is described as a “ramp down of the Universal Testing Offer”. FREE AS LONG AS NECESSARY He has apologised for attending, but an increasing number of reports of alcohol-fuelled gatherings at the heart of government have prompted calls for his resignation, including from some in his governing Conservative Party. read more

Tackling the ongoing pandemic remains high on the political agenda in Britain, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire for attending an event in the garden of his Downing Street residence during a COVID-19 lockdown. That target could move again if the virus throws what one official close to the health service described as a “curve ball”, perhaps in the form of another variant, which would mean the plans would again be postponed.

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  • Exclusive: Britain gearing up for late June switch to paid COVID testing – document
  • Check the latest Health news updates and information about health.
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