The UK got one step closer to having a fast, reliable and affordable coronavirus test, with Boots launching a new test that matched at least two of those components.
The nation-wide pharmacy says the tests will take only 12 minutes for results, but will cost £120.
Although costly, the pharmacy says that it will still be one of the most affordable on the market. The tests use a LumiraDx device and will be rolled out at select locations over the next few weeks.
The new service will be launched in selected stores this week, before rolling out to 50 Boots stores in November. Potentially the test will be available in some 200 stores over the coming months, Boots says.
The fast results come thanks to the machine that processes the results on site, rather than having to progress to a registered lab.
The price of the test could fall if demand increases, the pharmacy says.
“Boots has supported the government’s Covid-19 testing programme from the very start and offering this new in-store service is the next step in our efforts to fight against the pandemic,” said Boot’s UK managing director Seb James.
“We hope that by offering this testing option in local community stores, Boots can help ease pressure on the NHS and the government by providing additional access to testing and crucial reassurances for people across the UK,” he said.
The test is only for people who don’t have Covid-19 symptoms, as people who do have symptoms are advised to self-isolate. And the test can not be used for travel purposes.
This way of testing will help customers to quickly get peace of mind, revolutionising the speed of testing across the UK and reducing inappropriate use of the Government testing programme, Boots says.
Those who do want to have clearance for overseas travel can take another test at Boot’s. That one also costs £120, but results are not available for 48 hours.
Travellers to Hong Kong have a pre-flight test that is available to them before check-in at Heathrow. That test takes an hour for results and costs £80.