In the week leading up to Friday, 1 July 2022, it was reported that the number of people in the UK with Covid-19 had risen by 32% which equates to almost 2.3 million.
It was believed that the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 were behind the surge, according to the Office for National Statistics.
In the UK, the government stopped handing out free Covid-19 lateral flow tests at the beginning of April to the general public, but continued to make them free for certain groups of people.
With infections seemingly on the rise once more, here’s how you can get lateral flow tests in London, and how much it will cost.
What is a lateral flow test?
As explained online, ‘A lateral flow test, is an assay also known as a lateral flow device, lateral flow immunochromatographic assay, or rapid test, is a simple device intended to detect the presence of a target substance in a liquid sample without the need for specialised and costly equipment’.
It allows you to do the test in the comfort of your own home, meaning if you have the virus, you’ll find out at home.
This means you can start the isolation process right away.
How do I use a lateral flow test?
Lateral flow tests are down via a throat and nose swab or a nose swab only.
According to the NHS, for a throat swab and nose swab, you should:
- Open your mouth wide and rub the swab over both your tonsils (or where they would have been) at the back of your throat;
- Do this 4 times on each side;
- And using the same swab, wipe the inside of your nose as set out in the test kit instructions.
For just a nose swab, you should:
- Use the swab to wipe the inside of your nose as set out in the test kit instructions.
Where can I get a lateral flow test in London?
Many big retailers have lateral flow tests available, such as Superdrug or Lloyds Pharmacy.
Some in London include:
- Superdrug, The Strand - WC2N 5LH;
- Superdrug, Holborn Station - WC1V 7DA;
- Superdrug, Tottenham Court Road - W1T 2EA;
- Superdrug, London Southbank - SE1 9LJ;
- Superdrug, West One Shopping Centre - W1C 2JS.
- And Lloyds Pharmacy - 62 Wandsworth Road, London, Vauxall, UK, SW8 2LF;
- Lloyds Pharmacy - 18 Harper Road, Bermondsey, UK, SE1 6AD;
- Lloyds Pharmacy - 50-54 Wigmore Street, Marylebone, UK, W1U 2AU;
- Lloyds Pharmacy - 158a Cromwell Road, London, UK, SW7 4EJ;
- Lloyds Pharmacy - 147-149 Peckham Hill Street, Peckham, UK, SE15 5JZ.
How much do they cost?
At Superdrug, here are the test options you can choose from, and how much they cost:
- LFT non travel (5 tests) - £9.59;
- LFT non travel (1 test) - £1.95;
- LFT fit to fly (1 test) £14.99;
- LFT non travel (25 tests) - £47.95.
At Lloyds Pharmacy, there are four test options to choose from and they are:
- LFT non travel (5 tests) - £11.29;
- LFT non travel (1 test) - £2.29;
- LFT fit to fly (1 test) - £12.99;
- LFT step ahead (1 test) - £1.89.
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
According to the NHS, the symptoms of Coronavirus are:
- A high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature);
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste;
- Shortness of breath;
- Feeling tired or exhausted;
- An aching body;
- A headache;
- A sore throat;
- A blocked or runny nose;
- Loss of appetite;
- And feeling sick or being sick.