HIGH Street retailer Boots has revealed that it will offer free rapid Covid tests across 1,500 of its stores.
Lateral flow tests are now available for free to everyone in England through a new government scheme.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed rapid tests as a way back to "normality".
The Government hopes they will help find undetected cases of the coronavirus – as one in three people do not show signs of the disease.
In order to give people across the county easy access to the tests, Boots has today announced that 1,500 of its pharmacies will be providing tests free of charge for anyone – even people who don't have any coronavirus symptoms.
The three most common symptoms of Covid-19 are a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell (anosmia).
But experts say that there are a whole host of other symptoms you need to look out for including a headache, tiredness and a sore throat.
Every day around 2,000 people are picking up the coronavirus, according to the latest figures from The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey (ZCSS).
However this is only a prediction for symptomatic disease.
Estimations for cases for Covid both with and without symptoms say around 148,000 people have the coronavirus in England right now.
From today everyone can get a rapid test through home delivery, from a pharmacy, at school or work or other community testing sites – this will be able to detect cases that might have previously been missed.
As part of the pharmacy collect service, Boots is offering tests.
People without symptoms will be able to visit their local Boots pharmacy and collect a box of seven rapid tests to use twice a week at home.
Once you have taken a test you should get your results within 30 minutes.
Marc Donavon, Chief Pharmacist at Boots UK said that regular rapid Covid testing using the lateral flow devices is a fast and easy way to see if you have the virus.
“It’s a vital part of the government’s road map to cautiously ease restrictions.
"Around one in three people who have Covid-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading it without knowing.
"Testing regularly will help identify people who have the virus so they can self-isolate to help prevent the virus spreading, keeping your family, friends and colleagues safer and helping us all to keep life moving."
Mr Donavon highlighted that the more people that take part in testing schemes, the more we will be able to "protect each other".
He added: "If you think you have Covid-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and head over to the government website to arrange a free PCR test, and follow the guidance depending on your result.”
To find out if one of the 1,500 pharmacies are near you then click here.
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