Boris Johnson, who is rumored to be introducing a “live with Covid” scheme in the next few weeks, may soon make Brits pay for lateral flow testing.
People with symptoms and those living in high-risk areas like schools or care homes will still be able to get free tests.
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 also appear to reduce the NHS Test and Trace.
Whitehall sources told the story 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.”
According to the source, the Government will continue to have the ability to increase testing if necessary.
Twitter was quick to respond to the news, with some people 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.
Other people have been more supportive of this news than one person wrote: “Good. Time to get back to normal.”
An additional: “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 has also spoken out against the move with shadow health secretary Wes Streeting stating: “This would be the wrong decision at the wrong time.
“It is essential to test for infections in order to keep them under control and avoid any restrictions that could have an adverse impact on our lives, livelihoods and liberties.
The Times report was later disputed by sources within the Government who claim that no long-term decision about free testing has been reached.
A spokesperson for the Government insisted that, even though they did not address the report directly, “everyone can continue to get free tests”That and more “testing continues to play an important role in helping people live their day-to-day lives”.
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