Get Free or Economically Priced Lateral Flow COVID Tests & Masks
Get Free or Economically Priced Lateral Flow COVID Tests & Masks
Unfortunately, ever since the beginning of April 2022, the UK government pulled the availability of free COVID-19 tests for the general public. So now, as we make our way through 2023, with the clear and present danger that COVID is still prevalent in the UK and the rest of the world; with the current statistics from the UK Office for National Statistics COVID-19 Infection Survey, which back this up; only specific groups in the UK, remain the only ones entitled to free COVID testing.
The UK government has stated that: " Free COVID-19 tests will continue to be available to help protect specific groups, including eligible patients and NHS and care staff, from 1 April 2022," until further notice. This pledge remains in force, but is of zero help to those who fall outside these boundaries. And in these extremely difficult economic times, millions of people are choosing to just leave things to chance, rather than taking positive action to protect themselves and their families and loved ones. - Not doubt for the most part, this is not by choice, but by circumstance.
So this leads us to examine where the best place is to purchase reasonably priced COVID-19 Rapid Lateral Antigen tests, and premium quality protective masks - either in single test units/masks, and very importantly, in money saving economy sized boxes, such as the UK government-approved self-testing Antigen tests with 5, 10, 20 and 25 pieces; and boxes of top quality, high efficiency filtration FFP2 NR protective anti-COVID masks which come in single units, and economy boxes of 20 masks and cartons of 800 masks, which are designed for companies and organisations.
So Who is Entitled to COVID-19 Tests?
Under the plans that were implemented on 1st April 2022, and are still in force today: free symptomatic testing will only be provided for a limited group of people. These comprise:
- Hospital patients who need a PCR test related to their care
- Hospital patients who require access to medical treatments
- People who are supporting the ongoing clinical surveillance for new COVID variants
- Individuals who are entitled to community COVID-19 treatments (due to being at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus)
- Anyone who is working in a high-risk setting, for example: NHS workers, care home staff, adult social care service workers, immigration removal centre employees, and prison staff
- Staff who are working anywhere in which infection has to be rapidly identified to minimise outbreaks
- Residents who live in a care home, hospice, medically supported living accommodation,
prison, or other detention centre, and anywhere that infection has to be quickly determined to minimise outbreaks
- Anyone who is being admitted or discharged from a care home, hospital or hospice
And Who is Entitled to Lateral Flow COVID-19 Tests?
"Asymptomatic lateral flow testing will continue from April 2022 in some high-risk settings where infection can spread rapidly while prevalence is high". These include:
- Patient-facing employees who work for the National Health Service and NHS-commissioned independent healthcare providers
- Adult social care service staff (including those working in care homes and home care organisations); and hospice staff
- Workers who are employed at high-risk domestic abuse refuges
- Employees working in prisons and other detention facilities
- Those helping the homeless who live on the streets, or in homeless settings
- A small percentage of care home visitors who deliver personal care
In addition to the aforementioned: "testing will be provided for residential SEND, care home staff and residents during an outbreak, and for care home residents upon admission. This also includes some staff in prisons and immigration removal centres" .
In this case, the criteria for free rapid COVID tests is severely restricted. "If you are a healthcare worker, and you are a household close contact, you can get a lateral flow antigen tests if you:
- Do not have symptoms of COVID-19
- Have not had COVID-19 in the past 3 months" .
So What About the Millions of Other UK & Southern Ireland Inhabitants?
Taking proactive measures to protect ourselves, our family, loved ones, and those in the workplace and elsewhere, falls into our own hands. And whilst many are experiencing hard financial times, being prudent by purchasing tfirst-class quality economy-size boxes of rapid self-testing lateral flow COVID-19 kits and economy-sized cutting-edge protective face masks, is clearly the smart way to go.
Facing the Facts
The need to take precautions against COVID-19, is clearly evident. According to the UK Office for National Statistics Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey of 16 December 2022:
"The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase in England, increased in Wales & Scotland, & the trend was uncertain in Northern Ireland" 
- "In England, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 1,095,100
- In Wales, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 55,900
- In Northern Ireland, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 38,700
- In Scotland, the estimated number of people testing positive for COVID-19 was 100,700" .
The point to remember here, is COVID's potentially unrelenting rapid rate of infection...
At the present time: "the variants under surveillance in the UK, are Omicron, including sub-lineages BA.1, BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 and their sub-lineages" . From the latter part of June 2022, the UK Office for National Statistics, has stated that:
"Most COVID-19 infections in the UK have been Omicron variant BA.5 or its sub-lineages. One of these BA.5 sub-lineages, BQ.1, has been increasing considerably in recent weeks. In the week ending 20 November 2022, BQ.1 comprised 46.1% of all sequenced COVID-19 infections, an increase from 43.4% in the previous week. We have also observed a small increase in the percentage of infections with BA.2 sub-lineages. Notably, BA.2.75 & its sub-lineages comprised 17.2% of sequenced infections in the week ending 20 November 2022, with the sub-lineage XBB comprising 5.1% of sequenced infections" 
No Age Group Whether Children or Seniors is Off-Limits For COVID-19
"In the week ending 5 December 2022, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in England continued to increase for those aged 35 to 49 years; & increased for those aged 25 to 34 years & 50 to 69 years in the most recent week" 
With regard to the remaining age groups:
- The percentage of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 increased in the two weeks up to 5 December 2022. This included children from school Year 7 to school Year 11; and people aged 70 years and over
- In the case of children aged 2 years to school Year 6, the tendency in the percentage of those testing positive, was not clear in the week ending 5 December 2022 
Sound Advice From the World Health Organisation
Current guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that:
"Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission & save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19. Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage & cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible" 
There is certainly zero doubt that your family, friends and work colleagues, should regularly use UK government-approved COVID antigen self-testing kits, in order to know whether they have the virus, and if this is the case, to get immediate help for any serious symptoms they may have; and to protect those around them from getting this potentially deadly and life-changing virus. And while the UK government has taken a step back due to various reasons, including the astronomic cost, which ran into billions, everyone should be mindful of the old adage, "Better safe then sorry," and get in economy packs of high quality government-approved Lateral Flow Rapid Antigen tests, and FFP2 NR protective anti-COVID masks from an established approved, nationwide supplier, such as CovidTestsUK - which offers fair prices and economy packs,that can be delivered the next day.
Covid Tests UK offer a choice of leading Lateral Flow Antigen self-testing kits: FlowFlex and Healgen.
Taking Other Measures
"If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, & coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live & work. Do it all!" World Health Organisation 
. Gov.uk (2022). "Government sets out next steps for living with COVID."
. HSE Southern Ireland (2023). "Get a COVID-19 test."
. Office for National Statistics (2022). "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 16 December 2022."
. Office for National Statistics (2022). "Main Points."
. Office for National Statistics (2022). "COVID-19 by Age."
. World Health Organisation (2022). "All about masks in the context of COVID-19."