The British government looks set to scrap the free lateral flow tests
According to a report in today’s Sunday Times, the British government is poised to stop the handing out of free lateral flow testing kits. It is believed that Boris Johnson is about to tell the citizens of the country in the coming weeks that they must prepare to live restriction-free, with coronavirus.
“I don’t think we are in a world where we can continue to hand out free lateral flow tests to everybody for evermore”, a Whitehall source is alleged to have told the newspaper. “It’s likely we will move to a scenario where there is less testing, but where we have a capacity to ramp it up if necessary, such as in the winter”.
A new system could see free tests only given to those who are in high-risk areas, like care home residents, or hospitals, and schools, or those with symptoms. Apparently, more than £6billion has already been spent on mass testing devices. Contact tracing could be cut back also claimed the source.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister reportedly informed Mr Johnson that her Scottish Government did not agree with scrapping the lateral flow tests as a way forward, and allegedly told him if he was ‘really considering this’ it would be ‘utterly wrongheaded’.
In a tweet, Ms Surgeon wrote, “Hard to imagine much that would be less helpful to trying to ‘live with’ Covid”, adding, “Testing so vital, we’d have to consider continued funding, but it would then come from existing budgets”.
This was in question to if Boris went ahead with his idea, what would happen to the current funding for UK nations for testing under the Barnett formula. Last April the rapid tests were made available to everyone in England, even those who had no symptoms. Over the Christmas period, the tests were seen as a key factor in suppressing the virus, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.