Brits to start paying for lateral flow tests under new ‘live with Covid’ scheme

Brits may soon have to pay for lateral flow tests with Boris Johnson reportedly set to introduce a 'live with Covid' scheme within weeks.

Free tests will still be available for people with symptoms, as well as for those in high risk places like care homes, schools and hospitals.

However, the Government is reportedly set to scale back Covid spending with £6 billion already having been spent on mass public testing.

The new plans will also apparently see NHS Test and Trace scaled back.

A source from inside Whitehall told The Times : "I don’t think we are in a world where we can continue to hand out free lateral flow tests to everybody for evermore."

The source did add that the Government will maintain the capacity to ramp up testing again if needs be, such as in winter months.

People were quick to react to the news on Twitter, with some expressing outrage.

One person wrote: "So they’ve finally thrown the immunosuppressed and vulnerable under the bus…"

"We are now moving from unbelievable #incompetence to downright #Dangerous," another person said.

Others have been more supportive of the news, with one person writing: "Good. Time to get back to normal."

A second added: "Finally the realisation."

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reacted to the news by warning Boris Johnson that axing universal free lateral flow tests would be "utterly wrongheaded".

"Hard to imagine much that would be less helpful to trying to ‘live with’ Covid," she tweeted.

"Testing so vital, we’d have to consider continued funding but it would then come from existing budgets."

Labour have also come out against the move, with shadow health secretary Wes Streeting saying: "This would be the wrong decision at the wrong time.

"Testing is absolutely crucial for keeping infections under control and avoiding the need for further restrictions that impact on our lives, livelihoods, and liberties."

The Times' report has since been disputed by other sources from inside the Government, who say that no long-term decision regarding free testing has been made.

While not addressing the report, a Government spokesperson insisted that "everyone can continue to get free tests" and that "testing continues to play an important role in helping people live their day-to-day lives".

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

Source: Read Full Article