Covid-19: When will free testing end and how much will tests cost?


On Monday, Boris Johnson announced the governments ‘Living with Covid’ plan. On top of an end to isolation, the prime minister said that PCR and lateral flow tests will no longer be free for most people. 

This is part of the government’s plan to encourage individuals to take more responsibility for their personal risk and build confidence within the general public to get life back to normal. 

From April 1st, only people who are over 70 and people over 12-years-old with weakened immune systems will be eligible for free tests. More information about who will be able to access free tests is set to be released next month.

Two days after the news was announced, the pharmacy Boots started to sell lateral flow tests for £5.99 each or £17 for a pack of four. The first retailer to make the move, it says that cheaper tests will be available from the beginning of March. 

Hold on, will lateral flows and PCRs end up costing the same as ‘Fit to fly’ or ‘Test and trace’ tests (which cost around £70 when you go via the NHS)?