Can You Still Get Free PCR Test in Bristol, UK?
Free Covid-19 testing has been one of the key strategies used by the UK government to control the spread of Covid-19 in Bristol and other parts of England.
However, since 1 April 2022, Covid-19 testing rules in the UK have changed. For instance, free PCR tests Bristol are no longer available to the public. This means that the UK government is no longer providing free Covid-19 tests to asymptomatic and symptomatic people in Bristol.
However, there is a specific group of people that is still eligible for the free NHS Covid test in Bristol.
To keep you informed, here’s a detailed look at what has changed and how you can access Covid-19 Healgen lateral flow tests and PCR tests in Bristol, UK.
Can One Get a Free PCR Test in Bristol?
Unfortunately, the free PCR test in Bristol NHS is no longer available to the public. From 1 April 2022, the UK government ceased free universal asymptomatic and symptomatic Covid-19 testing for the public.
However, you can get a Covid-19 PCR test at a fee from pharmacies and online.
The PCR test is a Covid-19 diagnostic test that detects the coronavirus by checking for the unique genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a nasal or throat swab. PCR tests are very sensitive and are known as the gold standard for Covid-19 testing.
Although this test is known for its accuracy, it doesn’t provide quick results as the sample has to be analysed in a lab. Another notable weakness of the PCR test is the difficulty in sample collection as the test requires an experienced healthcare provider to collect the nasal or throat swabs.
Notably, in the UK, PCR tests are no longer recommended for symptomatic people. Those with Covid-19 symptoms are advised to use lateral flow tests. Free symptomatic lateral flow testing is also available for people who are most at risk from the virus or those who work in high-risk settings.
Who Is Eligible to Access Free Testing in Bristol?
Free Covid-19 tests are no longer available for most people in Bristol and other parts of the UK.
However, some specific people can still access free NHS lateral flow tests in Bristol. These people include:
Those with a health condition and are eligible for Covid-19 treatment
- Patients in hospital or those going to the hospital and need to be tested for Covid
- Those who work in healthcare or adult social care
- People with Covid-19 symptoms that work for the NHS in a patient-facing role or with NHS patients for an independent healthcare provider
- Asymptomatic people that work with NHS for an independent healthcare provider or with NHS patients that need a Covid-19 test to return to work. Also, those that have been told by their employer to get tested because they work with people who are at high risk of getting Covid 19 or they are at a high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19.
- Asymptomatic adult social care staff who have been told by their employer to get a return to work Covid-19 test because they were infected with Covid-19 in the past.
If you’re eligible for the free NHS Covid-19 test, you can use the GOV.UK online service to order an at-home test kit. You can also call 119 to get your free test kit sent to your home.
Other Ways You Can Get Tested in Bristol
Covid-19 testing is a reliable way to help break the chain of transmission. For instance, those who test positive for Covid can self-isolate, which can help stop the spread of the virus.
If you aren’t eligible for the free NHS test, and you want to get tested for Covid-19 in Bristol, you can buy a lateral flow test from pharmacies and online. LFTs work by detecting Covid-19 antigens in a sample. These tests use nasal and throat samples.
Lateral flow tests have been increasingly used by the UK government for testing asymptomatic people. These tests are reliable and affordable. For instance, the popular FlowFlex Covid test price in Bristol is currently only £1.99.
Lateral flow tests can also be administered at home without the help of a health care provider, as they’re easy to use. They also don’t require specialized lab equipment or analysis, which is why the results are available in minutes.
In closing, free PCR tests are no longer available to the public in Bristol. However, if you have Covid-19 symptoms, or you have been exposed to the virus, you can order nose-only lateral flow test and other types of LFTs from CovidTests today. Ensure you self-isolate and avoid contact with people for at least three days if you have Covid-like symptoms, even if your test results are negative.