Sajid Javid defends end of mandatory Covid self-isolation
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The government website ran out of free packs on Monday night just hours after Mr Johnson announced coronavirus restrictions would be phased out in the coming weeks. Free testing for the general public will be axed from April 1, the Government announced, prompting a rush of people keen to stock up on the swabs.
Individual orders for free tests on the government website were first reduced from one box of tests per 72 hours rather than one every 24 hours in anticipation of the public stockpiling following the announcement.
The website later said there were no more tests available for delivery but that tests would be available to pick up in-person at pharmacies which had them in stock.
Dr Leyla Hannbeck, Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, told MailOnline that her members had noticed a growing trend of hoarding in the past 24 hours.
She said: ‘We raised concerns around Christmas time about supply not meeting the demand following change in government guidelines.
“Once again pharmacies find themselves in a situation where we are not communicated with prior to an announcement and need to deal with the increased demand’.
Each test will reportedly cost between £3 and £5 each from April 1, although the costs depend on private suppliers.
The government has said “a small number of at-risk groups” and care home staff will continue to get free lateral flow tests, possibly the over-80s, although this has not yet been confirmed.
People who test positive for Covid will no longer have to isolate by law from Thursday. Covid status certificates will also be scrapped as will need to show proof of vaccination.
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