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London Covid: When will free packs of lateral flow tests end?


As Boris Johnson announced the end to Covid restrictions in England on Thursday, a change to lateral flow testing kit orders also came into force. Daily order of packs of seven lateral flow has now been replaced by one order permitted per person every 72 days.

The change from one day to three days almost went unnoticed yesterday, as the Government looks to scrap free lateral flow tests altogether from April 1 for most age groups. The winding down of the free lateral flow kits comes amidst Johnson’s decision to lift England’s remaining restrictions in a bid to enable the country to ‘live with coronavirus’ moving forward.

The test-ordering system which has now been altered covers England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For those who have recently ordered a pack of seven lateral flow tests, they now receive the message: “You have ordered a test within the last 72 hours. You can only place one order in a 72 hour period.

READ MORE: London Covid: All the rules Boris Johnson has announced under ‘living with Covid’ plan



Lateral Flow
Free tests will still be available to the elderly and vulnerable

“You need to wait before you can order again. If we have made a mistake, you can call the contact centre.”

Boris Johnson revealed that after the free tests end by April the elderly and other people vulnerable to Covid will still be able to access the tests for free.

The Government said that it was “working with retailers to ensure everyone who wants to can buy a test” once the free ordering of tests comes to an end.



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It is estimated that when tests are available privately, people will have to pay around £20 for a pack of seven tests and between £2 and £5 for a single lateral flow test.

This could be costly for those who are required to test regularly that are not vulnerable to Covid-19 but the UK becomes on of the many European countries that will have ended free rapid Covid tests.

You can learn more about how to get lateral flow tests here.

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Trainee Reporter – LGBT+ Specialist. Previously worked for Daily Star, The Sun, Brixton Blog and South West Londoner.

Three stories written this month include a in depth interview with LGBTQ+ activist Peter Tatchell ahead of the 50th anniversary of Gay Pride in the UK, an interview with an ex-Lieutenant Commander who had to keep his sexuality a secret in the Armed Forces for 20 years who lost his partner to AIDS two days before he left the Navy and a chat with the founder of The Gay Men’s Dance Company who offer professional training, pole dancing and a dance class in heels.

Got a story? You can reach me at matt.spivey@reachplc.com or DM me on Twitter @mattlspivey.




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