Boots, Superdrug and Tesco competing for best LFT deals

The UK government will no longer provide free lateral flow tests (LFTs) to people as part of a plan to move forward with Covid.

The Living with Covid plan for England has also scrapped the rules of people being made to self-isolate and most people will now have to pay to get both LFTs and PCRs under the new guidance.

Tests are being scrapped due to the high cost on the taxpayer and the government has said the test, tracing and isolation budget cost over £15.7billion from 2021 to 2022.

Scotland will also be scrapping the scheme at the end of April, blaming a lack of funding from Westminster.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said of the plans: "Thanks to our plan to tackle Covid we are leading the way in learning to live with the virus.

The government hopes that vaccines and the booster programme will keep infections down and frontline NHS staff will continue to test twice a week.

Javid said: "Vaccines remain our best defence and we are now offering spring boosters to the elderly, care home residents and the most vulnerable – please come forward to protect yourself, your family, and your community."

How much are LFTs?

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Tesco is stocking LFTs in 1,500 of its stores from April 1 for £2 for an individual test.

The supermarket is partnering with healthcare firm Everything Genetic and also said that tests would be available to purchase online across the country from May.

Boots are selling individual tests for £2.50, while a pack of five can be purchased for £12. Rival Superdrug have Flowflex on sale for a pack of five costing £9.79 and Individual Healgen tests are £1.99

If people do get tests from elsewhere, they should check if it is approved by the government here.

How can I get a free LFT test?

Free LFTs are now only available to certain groups of people, including the clinically vulnerable.

Tests will be free for patients in hospitals who require it, and some are eligible if they are at a higher risk of reacting badly to Covid, such as those who have trouble with their immune systems. Social care and NHS staff in high-risk settings can also get free tests.

The government explained: "People at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and eligible for treatments, will continue to get free tests to use if they develop symptoms, along with NHS and adult social care staff and those in other high-risk settings."

Those who are eligible for free tests in England will be contacted by NHS England.

The end of free tests for most of the general public remains a concern for some. On March 31, 74,720 cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK and the 7 average remains at just under 80,000.

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