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15th Feb 2022

Major change to covid testing could hit Brits’ pockets within weeks

Charlie Herbert

Change to Covid testing

The changes to covid testing are part of the PM’s plans to live with the virus

The government are set to axe free PCR tests as part of plans to live with covid.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is drawing up proposals to charge people if they want a PCR test.

However they will remain free for those most at risk from the virus and within hospitals and high-risk settings.

Under current measures, you should get a PCR test after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for covid or if you develop any symptoms.

However this advice is also set to be scrapped, the Sun reports.

A PCR test can cost more than £100.

Johnson will be announcing the government’s long term plans to live with covid when it returns from recess on February 21.

These plans are expected to end the final remaining restrictions in England and return the country to as it was before the pandemic began.

Initially the plans to end restrictions were set to be implemented form March 24 but the prime minister recently announced he was hoping to bring the end of restrictions – such as the legal requirement to self-isolate – forward by a month.

Along with the scrapping of free PCRs, it is thought that advice for regular lateral flow testing will also end.

The government is also set to scale down the covid-19 monitoring programme and end the daily death figures.

The plans to scrap free PCR tests have raised concern amongst scientists and medical professionals though, with SAGE saying this could “increase anxiety among those who have found testing reassuring after possible exposure,” particularly those most at risk from the virus.

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