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Free Covid-19 tests could be removed "within weeks"

Updated: Feb 16

Various outlets claim the UK Government will scrap free PCR and LFT tests in new 'living with Covid' regulations


By Mireia Jimenez

Courtesy of Alexandra_Koch via Pixabay


The UK Government is planning to remove free PCR and lateral flow tests (LFT), according to various news sources.


The Mirror claims they will be scrapped "within weeks", while London Broadcasting Company (LBC) claims the change will come as soon as next week.

The Mirror says removing free testing would "save billions of pounds" to the Treasury .


Staff from UK Health Security Agency told LBC they are "worried the plans will damage the UK's ability to spot and track new variants".


The alternative would be to order tests through a new online system where they would be charged at "yet-unknown" prices.


Boris Johnson refused to confirm such plans will go ahead, however the Government expects to introduce new measures for its "living with Covid" strategy from next week.


Similarly, Nicola Sturgeon will announce "return to normal" plan next week and Scottish restrictions are said to "diverge dramatically" from those in England.

Last month, the Daily Mail reported a series of Government documents showing how free LFTs would be scrapped from July onwards.


Covid-19 cases in the UK have decreased over the last week, from 67,316 new daily cases on 8 February to 23,183 by 14 February.