Pricey PCR tests set to be ditched for the double-jabbed in time for October half-term holidays

Pricey PCR tests set to be ditched for the double-jabbed in time for October half-term holidays

September 22, 2021

PRICEY PCR tests are set to be ditched for the double-jabbed in time for October half-term holidays, Grant Shapps suggested yesterday.

They will be replaced by cheaper lateral flow tests.

The Transport Secretary refused to set a date for the swap but said officials were aware of the schools’ autumn break.

He previously indicated the change will be made “by the end of October” — but parents hoping to get away on a half-term break from October 22 are still in the dark.

Firms are currently facing a shortage of tests and say they need to stock up on supplies first. Mr Shapps yesterday told MPs there was still “some way to go” but ministers are “keen to do this as quickly as possible”.

He said: “I know that colleagues over at (the Department for) Health are aware of half-term dates and they’ll be working closely with private sector providers. I appreciate the urgency and will chivvy this along.” 

The lateral flows must be paid for, but will be far cheaper than PCR tests, which can cost hundreds of pounds.

 Meanwhile lateral flow tests made in the UK are being rolled out by the Government.

The devices, produced in Derby by SureScreen Diagnostics, give a result in 15 minutes.

 They are the first British tests to be lab-approved by Public Health England and are first being distributed to universities.

Most of the lateral flow tests used in the UK are from China.

Covid has cost the UK £370billion so far, according to the National Audit Office.

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