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Charging for Covid tests in England just as infections surge? This is an act of national self-sabotage | Frances Ryan

The government is abandoning a public health tool that has undoubtedly saved many lives in the pandemic

They call it April Fools’ Day for a reason. From tomorrow, 1 April, Boris Johnson’s government will end the provision of free lateral flow and PCR tests for the majority of people in England.

Ministers have announced that only a limited number of groups will now have access without having to pay. That includes symptomatic hospital patients when it is required for their care, and people living or working in “high-risk settings” such as care homes and prisons. Free asymptomatic testing will remain available for care home and patient-facing staff in the NHS, but only when there is a high prevalence of the virus and it is determined that infections may spread quickly.

Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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