A Whitehall source supportive of ending mass free testing has suggested the scheme “isn’t sustainable” given the success of Britain’s vaccination programme. They told the Telegraph: “It’s agreed that universal access isn’t sustainable or necessary given high vaccination levels.
“We now need to decide what the parameters should be that reasonably qualify access to free testing.”
The comments come amid concerns taxes would have to rise if the free testing scheme was to continue.
The Treasury are reportedly supportive of reducing free testing because 90% of the UK adult population have received at least one coronavirus vaccination.
According to the latest Government data, over 45.1 million people are now fully vaccinated against the virus.
The UK Health and Social Care Department and No10 are more cautious about the decision to end free testing.
The decision is being discussed in the latest spending review negotiations between the Health and Social Care Department and the Treasury.
Boris Johnson is expected to have the final word on the decision but has not formally declared where he stands on the matter.
Under the current system people can get an unlimited amount of free lateral flow tests and those with any symptoms can ask for a free PCR test.
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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said: “With half-term and winter sun around the corner, we’re making it easier for families and loved ones to reunite by significantly cutting the number of destinations on the red list, thanks in part to the increased vaccination efforts around the globe.”
However, the latest case figures show England reached over 36,000 daily infections with 6,763 people in hospital with the virus on Friday.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) around one in 15 youngsters in school for the years 7 to 11 have coronavirus for the week up to October 2.