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Government Limits Number Of Free Lateral Flow Tests You Can Order Per Person

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Government Limits Number Of Free Lateral Flow Tests You Can Order Per Person

Ever since the government announced that lateral flow tests will no longer be free from 1st April, Brits have been struggling to get their hands on them.

In a bid to 'manage demand', the number of free tests available each day is set to be capped, with people only able to order every three days, as opposed to every 24 hours.

The number of free tests available each day is set to be capped (Credit: Alamy)
The number of free tests available each day is set to be capped (Credit: Alamy)

Although the public have been advised not to try and stockpile tests, the website has been overwhelmed with people trying to order packs ahead of the changes.

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A message on the Government testing portal states: “Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now.”

On Monday, prime minister Boris Johnson announced that free testing would come to an end, after costing more than £2 billion in January alone.

Free testing for the general public is set to end on 1st April, but tests should still be available for symptomatic elderly and vulnerable people.

The tests will no longer be free from 1st April (Credit: Alamy)
The tests will no longer be free from 1st April (Credit: Alamy)
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The Living with Covid plan states: “Over two billion lateral flow tests have been provided across the UK since 2020.

“UKHSA continues to have good stock levels and will manage these to provide flexibility in future.

“Ahead of the end of free universal testing in England, it will be necessary for UKHSA to cap the number of tests distributed each day to manage demand.

“Given that advice to test has and continues to reduce, the Government urges people only to order what they need.”

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Since the announcement, concerns that NHS staff may not be able to access free tests has been mounting.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Of particular concern is the Government’s decision to exclude NHS staff from access to free testing from April – 94 per cent of health leaders we surveyed recently said access to free tests for NHS staff and other key workers should not end.

“Patients, staff and visitors deserve to feel confident that they can access and work in services without risking their own health or causing worry to those around them.

“This is particularly true for people from clinically vulnerable groups who may already feel sidelined.

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“We urge the Government to reconsider its plan with dedicated funding for continued access to Covid tests for all NHS workers in patient-facing roles.”

Tests should still be available for symptomatic elderly and vulnerable people (Credit: Alamy)
Tests should still be available for symptomatic elderly and vulnerable people (Credit: Alamy)

Meanwhile, health secretary Sajid Javid said: “If NHS staff need tests they will be provided with free tests – that will be a decision for the NHS.

“Even before Covid, the NHS has always sensibly made a decision on tests and keeping their staff safe, because keeping staff safe means keeping their patients safe and it’s always about patient safety.”

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Health, Covid-19

Lucy Devine
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