The cost of a Covid test box is like many households’ weekly food bills, and expecting people to pay is as realistic as asking them to walk on the moon. The government says it can’t afford to keep paying – but we can’t help it
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Like 18.8 million other people in the UK, I have Covid – twice, in fact, despite being maximally vaccinated.
Like all those 18.8 million cases, I found out it was definitely Covid through a check .
Therefore, believe that free lateral flow and PCR tests will removed from April 1 made me shiver so much that I almost thought I was going to have Covid a third time.
Skipping free Covid tests for the vast majority is a bad government decision. It means more people getting sick and households facing higher bills – right in the middle cost of living crisis .
From April 1, all tests will be paid for unless you are in a hospital, care home or classified as vulnerable.
The government is doing this to save money, but checks are still needed – so all it’s really doing is reducing costs for needy households.
The government’s response to that criticism was remove all legal restrictions surrounding Covid as of today – which means there is no legitimate ‘need’ to check.
But of course, there are practical and ethical ones.
Despite what the government clearly believes, we still in a pandemic . Covid is highly contagious and is still killing around 160 Brits a day.
So if you have Covid symptoms, you’ll want to take a test to see that you’re not transmitting a potentially deadly virus.
The same goes if you are visiting someone in the hospital, or who are elderly or medically vulnerable.
That means you have to remove the bag yourself to check the lateral flow.
Although most stores do not publish prices for these, Superdrug will sell a single test for £1.99 and a pack of five for £9.79.
Boots will charge £5.99 for a single trial (£2.50 from April) and a pack of four for £17.
Those costs will soon add up and Britons are in the middle cost of living crisis it is seeing prices rise from energy bills to gasoline to groceries.
And of course, charging the batteries for the tests was the hardest.
As anyone who’s used Covid knows, if you get it you’ll need multiple tests, and it’s pretty feasible to use a box of side-threaded tests per person.
For many people, the price of a test box is like their weekly food bill. Asking Britons to boldly pay for tests is like asking them to walk on the moon.
Apparently it costs the government £4 per side-flow check – God knows how, if Superdrug can sell them for half that price and still make a profit, but at this point, The government doesn’t surprise me.
But even £4 a test is a bargain compared to the greater cost of not offering free tests.
If people can’t afford to get tested, they’ll go around with Covid without knowing it, infecting others, losing work time and sadly many people will get sick and die. What is the economic (and human) cost of doing that?
Now, I’m not saying sideline tests will be free forever. But they need to be free in the near future.
Anything else has consequences too bad to even think about, and the fault of that lies at the feet of this government.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/ive-just-covid-ending-free-26321263 'I just had Covid - ending free tests was a bad idea and hit the hardest' - Sam Barker