This is a highly controversial story and one giving significant cause for concern for vulnerable people in rural settings. It tells us:
England’s coronavirus testing strategy has been criticised as “reckless” amid plans to end the free provision of rapid tests and relax the monitoring of cases from abroad.
Families and businesses will have to pay for lateral flow tests from next year in an overhaul of Downing Street’s approach to the pandemic.
More than 95m of the 30-minute tests have been used since they were made freely available in England from April. Reported to cost £5-£30 each, they have identified more than 620,000 cases, mostly in people without symptoms but who could still transmit the virus.
Mayors, teaching unions and directors of public health said charging for lateral flow tests was a “backward step” that threatened to throw schools back into chaos, accelerate the spread of the virus and deepen health inequalities.