Covid lateral flow tests are no longer free for the majority of people in England. Since the 1st April 2022, you now need to pay for your tests rather than order a free test from the NHS.
People in England are no longer advised to get tested as part of the Government’s living with Covid guidelines, but understandably, you may still be feeling anxious about mixing with others.
If you are classed as vulnerable or have family members that are more at risk of becoming seriously ill with the virus, you may want to continue to get tested for coronavirus for peace of mind. Some countries also still need you to provide a negative lateral flow result in order to gain entry while travelling.
Related: The best PCR tests for travel
If you are wondering where you can now get hold of LFTs, you will find a list below of Covid lateral flow tests you can buy online.
Please note: All guidelines discussed in this article were correct at the time of writing. Be sure to double-check the Government rules here for the most up to date information on coronavirus testing and isolation.
The very best Covid lateral flow tests
Lateral flow test kit (non-travel)
If you require just a single test, LloydsPharmacy offers the cheapest on the market. This Covid test canu2019t be used for travel purposes, but it is ideal for quickly testing yourself if you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Test time: Results in 15 minutes
Flowflex Antigen Rapid Test Lateral Flow Self-Testing Kit 25 Pack
Stock up and save money with a 25-pack bundle of Covid lateral flow tests. This pack will be perfect if you are wanting to test ahead of going to the office or to check children and teenagers before they head off to school. Test time: Results in 15 minutes
Medicspot Lateral Flow Day 2 / Fit to Fly Travel
The Medicspot Lateral Flow Day 2/Fit To Fly is a great option if you require a test that you can use for the purposes of travelling. While you no longer need to provide a result on arriving back in the UK, this test can be accepted for entry into 25+ countries. Upon submitting a negative result, it will provide you with a doctor-signed fit-to-fly certificate via email. Test time: Results in 20 minutes
Rapid Antigen Travel Testing Service with Certificate
If you need to take a supervised lateral flow test for travel purposes, Breathe Assured offers a Rapid Antigen Travel Testing Service with Certificate. The test is taken over a video call with a specialist nurse so the result can be verified during your appointment. You will then be issued a certificate with proof of your negative result. Test time: Results in 20 minutes
FlowFlex Rapid Lateral Flow Covid-19 Antigen Tests
If you're looking for a quick, and affordable way to test yourself but don't need a massive supply, Groupon have a great deal on FlowFlex rapid antigen tests that are 99.3% accurate.
Simply rotate the included swab in each nostril ten times and insert the swab into the Lysis solution. Stir the swab sufficiently and ensure nostril sample has transferred well. Finally add four drops to the test card and await the result. Test Time: 15 minutes
Covid lateral flow test FAQs
How does a Covid lateral flow test work?
Lateral flow tests are designed to detect the antigens that are present when somebody has the virus. These handheld tests have a strip of test paper inside that changes colour in the presence of Covid-19 antigens.
Taking a lateral flow test usually involves swabbing inside your nose, and, depending on your chosen test, the back of your throat near the tonsils to collect a sample. The swab then needs to be dipped into the extraction solution, and then onto the lateral flow test device’s paper pad to produce the reaction that gives the result.
If the test is negative, you will see one line next to the C, while a line next to the C and the T, however faint, indicates a positive result.
What if I've tested negative but am still feeling breathless?
If you're having trouble with feelings of breathlessness, it may be worth picking up an oximeter to monitor the oxygen levels in your blood.
How accurate are Covid lateral flow tests?
While false negatives can happen, Covid lateral flow tests (also known as antigen tests) can rely on accurate results. Most LFTs have over a 98 per cent accuracy rate
How quickly does a positive lateral flow show?
The time it takes for your result to appear varies for each brand of Covid lateral flow test kit. It can appear from as little as 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
Before taking a test, you should read the instructions that come with your kit as they may be different to the ones you have used before. The instructions will tell you how to take the test and how long you must wait for your results.
Do I still need to wear a mask?
While wearing a mask as of now isn't compulsory, it might be a good idea to wear one in enclosed spaces such as on public transport, or in public bathrooms. We've got a selection of the best face masks available that are sure to limit the infection rate of COVID-19.
Rosie is a Commercial Content Writer at Bauer Media, working across a number of brands including Yours, Mother&Baby and What’s The Best.
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