With the end of free Covid testing in the UK at the end of March 2022, it seems the days of stocking up on lateral flow tests and taking one every time you feel ill is over. The UK has set out its plan to live with Covid in the long-run and that has included the end of individual testing, PCR or Lateral flow, if you think that you may be infected with Covid.
That, along with other rules such as the end of isolation and the ending of travel restrictions when going to and from the UK, means that the UK is in a very different position to other countries in the world as well as being in a different position to what many have been used to over the past 2 years.
Mass Covid testing as it was happening before was unsustainable but it is going to continue to be important for Covid tests to be done in the UK for a number of reasons. The future of Covid testing in the UK looks different but Covid tests are not going to disappear anytime soon.
In this guide, TechRound takes you through some of the ways in which Covid testing will remain in the UK and how it may still affect you in your everyday life.
Testing at Work
Testing at work is going to continue to be important for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Although there are no requirements to isolate in the UK, Covid can still make you feel unwell and this could force you to take a few days off of work.
Companies will not want there to be Covid outbreaks in their office forcing swathes of their employees to take time off because they are not feeling well. Having regular Covid tests at work, whether that is in the office or at a construction site, will allow companies to make sure that their employees are staying healthy and will stop any potential outbreaks of the virus.
Keeping at company efficiency, especially for startups can be done by keeping a healthy office; so it is likely that work environments especially ones where it is hard to work from home, will ask employees to continue to take Covid tests to allow themselves piece of mind.
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Testing for the Vulnerable
Of course, tests will continue to be available for those who are at risk of getting seriously ill from the virus. Those who are older, or are immuno-suppressed in anyway will still be able to get lateral flow tests for free from the NHS as well as have the option to book a PCR test if they have symptoms of Covid.
Moreover, those who want to visit their family and friends who are vulnerable might want to be on the safe side and therefore will purchase a covid test in order to test before they visit. This allows them to have piece of mind that they will not spread the virus to their vulnerable loved one when they go and see them.
Testing at Hospitals
Importantly, hospitals will want to make sure that there are no outbreaks of Covid in their facilities. Having a Covid outbreak and the spread of the virus within a hospital could be life threatening for many of the patients inside the hospital.
Regular Covid tests for hospital patients, before they visit the hospital and after they leave will continue to happen in the UK so that hospitals can continue to be as safe as possible whilst the virus lingers.
Although free Covid testing is over in the UK there is still a future for Covid tests in many different areas and industries of the country.