Free Covid tests officially ended for millions of people today as England moves to the next stage of ‘living with Covid’. MailOnline has more.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said now was the “right” time to withdraw the universal testing offer and “focus resources” on those who need it most.
He told the nation: “We are one of the most open and free countries in the world now, and that’s because of decisions that we’ve taken as a country.”
The Government website for ordering tests today displayed a message saying free Covid tests are now only available for certain groups. Most people will now have to purchase the swabs from high street stores, where they are available for about £2 each.
Yesterday NHS Test and Trace workers were pictured taking down the around 500 testing sites in the country.
England has ended its offer of free swabs under its plans to ‘live with’ the virus and following pressure from the Treasury over the bill – which ministers claimed cost £2 billion in January at the height of the Omicron wave.
Scotland will end its offer next month, while Wales is to stop handing out the swabs this summer.
Let’s hope it lasts.
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