As part of the Government’s Living With Covid Plan, from 1st April 2022, lateral flow tests (LFTs) will no longer be free of charge. The price of tests will vary depending on where you buy them. However, they may be free if you are eligible (see below).
Free LFTs will be given to:
- Patients in hospital, where a PCR test is required for their care
- People who are eligible for community Covid drug treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill if they become infected. People in this group will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms, as well as being told how to reorder tests
- Care home residents
- People working in some high-risk settings, including care homes and prisons. These staff will be able to test regularly, without symptoms
People will also be tested before being discharged from hospital into care homes, hospices and refuges.
Other changes to be made are:
- free parking for NHS staff introduced during the pandemic will end
- visiting restrictions in care homes with outbreaks will be reduced from 14 to 10 days
This comes after the latest change from the 24th March 2022, whereby the COVID-19 provisions within Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations ended. People with COVID-19 may still be eligible, subject to the normal conditions of entitlement.