Free lateral flow tests (LFT) could be scrapped as Boris Johnson is told to “live with coronavirus”.

Reports from The Times show a senior UK government source has said there could be less daily testing so more LFTs can be on reserve if infections begin to surge.

LFTs are currently free for individuals in England and can be collected from local pharmacies.

Read the latest Coventry news here

The Government have previously said their funding for the tests are part of the NHS Test and Trace which is £37 billion over two years, reports WalesOnline.

According to the report, the new system will mean free LFTs are only provided to those in high-risk settings such as hospitals, care homes, schools and to those who have symptoms – this comes as it was announced earlier this week (Wednesday) that PCRs are due to be scrapped.

Contract tracing through the NHS Test and Trace app could also be scaled back.

The source said: “I don’t think we are in a world where we can continue to hand out free lateral flow tests to everybody for evermore. It’s likely we will move to a scenario where there is less testing but where we have a capacity to ramp it up if necessary, such as in the winter.”



Free lateral flow tests could be axed as PM told to "live with coronavirus"
Free lateral flow tests could be axed as PM told to “live with coronavirus”

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has already backed moves to reduce the isolation period from seven days to five days after a positive Covid test. It has only recently been reduced from 10 days to seven, with negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven.

Mr Zahawi said: “The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have said they want to review it, so we will stick to seven days but if they review it and say they will bring it down to five days that is even better for me, it’s even more helpful.”

Mr Zahawi says the country is “witnessing the transition of the virus from pandemic to endemic”.

And now reports suggest scientists say coronavirus is not going away as Britain attempted to “live with” the virus by unlocking in summer.

Dr Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group, now says the Omicron variant could make Covid endemic.

He told Times Radio: “The thing that might happen in the future is you may see the emergence of a new variant that is less severe, and ultimately, in the long term, what happens is Covid becomes endemic and you have a less severe version. It’s very similar to the common cold that we’ve lived with for many years.

“We’re not quite there yet but possibly Omicron is the first ray of light there that suggests that may happen in the longer term. It is, of course, much more transmissible than Delta was, which is concerning, but much less severe.”

Currently families are able to order LFTS online, with the public urged to undertake one at least twice a week.

Keep up with the latest news with our email alerts directly to your inbox. Sign up here.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *