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Lateral flow tests

From Monday 15 Aug 2022 an eligibility criteria was introduced to continue to receive free Lateral flow tests (LFTs).

Anyone who is not eligible for free tests will be able to purchase them from local pharmacies.

Who will still get free LFTs?

The three eligible categories for free LFTs are:

  • Health and Social Care staff,
  • patients with a planned hospital admission; and
  • anyone considered at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 infection.

Health and social care staff will continue to have access to free LFTs through their workplace.

Patients with a planned hospital admission will have their LFTs provided by the Preoperative Assessment Clinic.

What if I’m not eligible for free LFTs?

If you are not in any of the three eligible categories then you will be able to purchase LFTs from local pharmacies and some other high street retailers.

How do I check if I’m classed as high-risk?

A list of conditions that would identify individuals as high-risk can be found on the antivirals webpage. If you suffer from one of these conditions you are classed as high risk, and should contact your GP to confirm your status and receive a letter confirming you are eligible for free LFTs.

You can then take this letter to your local pharmacy to collect your free LFTs.

Where will I be able to purchase LFTs?

You will be able to purchase LFTs from local pharmacies and some other high street retailers.

Do I still need to do an LFT before attending a healthcare setting?

No. Visitors to health and social care settings – including care or residential homes, dentists, GP surgeries or day clinics, will no longer be required to do an LFT test before attending unless you are symptomatic.

The Government advice for anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 is still to take an LFT test. If the test positive the advice is still to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you have a negative LFD test result or until 5 days after the day of your first positive result.

You can check our general guidance for positive tests.