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Lateral flow tests no longer available on NHS website

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ateral flow tests can no longer be ordered on the NHS website, it emerged on Wednesday.

Under the government’s Living with Covid plan, the provision of free tests had been due to end on April 1.

But on Wednesday morning the NHS website said: “Sorry, there are no more home delivery slots for these tests right now.”

There has been concern that the lack of tests will further increase infection rates, caused as a result of the more infectious BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron and the removal of social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

Evening Standard

People trying to order lateral flow tests were also informed that most people no longer needed to test regularly.

“Most tests are now needed for people at higher risk in England,” the site said and that those “without Covid-19 symptoms no longer need to take rapid lateral flow tests”.

GPs are frustrated that they have been unavailable to order tests for vulnerable patients, the Standard understands. Pharmacists face being inundated with demands – and fear hostility from the public if supplies run out.

A UKHSA spokesperson said: “As set out in the Living with Covid plan, from 1 April free tests will only be available for certain groups who are at most risk from the virus.

“In preparation for this change, the gov.uk home ordering channel is asking users to only order test kits if you’re eligible for new Covid-19 treatments, work or volunteer in a high risk setting or support people who are at higher risk from Covid-19.

“Tests should only be ordered after you have used up any kits you already have at home.”

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