Under the new ‘live with Covid’ scheme, Britons will begin paying for lateral flow tests.
Boris Johnson is expected to announce a reduction in Covid spending, including the elimination of universal free lateral flow tests and a reduction in NHS Test and Trace funding.
Boris Johnson is rumored to be planning to introduce a ‘live with Covid’ scheme within weeks, so Brits may soon have to pay for lateral flow tests.
People with symptoms, as well as those in high-risk environments such as nursing homes, schools, and hospitals, will continue to be able to get free tests.
The Government, on the other hand, is reportedly planning to cut back on Covid spending, despite the fact that £6 billion has already been spent on mass public testing.
NHS Test and Trace is also expected to be reduced under the new plans.
“I don’t think we’re in a world where we can continue to hand out free lateral flow tests to everyone forever,” a source inside Whitehall told The Times.
The government will keep the capacity to ramp up testing if necessary, such as during the winter months, according to the source.
On Twitter, people reacted quickly to the news, with some expressing outrage.
“So they’ve finally thrown the immunocompromised and vulnerable under the bus…” wrote one commentator.
Another person stated, “We are now moving from unbelievable (hashtag)incompetence to downright (hashtag)dangerous.”
Others have reacted positively to the news, with one commenter writing, “Good.
“It’s time to return to normal.”
“Finally, the realization,” said another.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has reacted to the news by warning Boris Johnson that scrapping universal free lateral flow tests would be “completely wrongheaded.”
She tweeted, “Hard to imagine much that would be less helpful in trying to ‘live with’ Covid.”
“Because testing is so important, we’d have to think about funding it again, but it would come from existing budgets.”
“This would be the wrong decision at the wrong time,” Labour’s shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting, said.
“Testing is critical for keeping infections under control and avoiding the need for additional restrictions that have a negative impact on our lives, livelihoods, and liberties.”
Other sources within the government have since disputed the Times’ report, claiming that no long-term decision on free testing has been made.
A Government spokesperson insisted that “everyone can continue to get free tests” and that “testing continues to play an important role in helping people live their day-to-day lives,” despite not addressing the report.
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The news is summarized by Brinkwire.