High street pharmacy chain Boots has revealed that it plans to launch a new Covid-19 swab test with results available to customers in 12 minutes.
The test is set to be rolled out within weeks, and aims to give members of the public “peace of mind”.
This is everything you need to know.
What is the test?
In a statement, Boots said: “Over the next few weeks, Boots will be rolling out new LumiraDx devices to selected stores, which will be able to process swab test Covid-19 results in just 12 minutes, giving customers rapid same day results.”
The test itself is a nasal swab test, which requires a swab being used to collect samples from your nose.
Trials of the test have been found to be 97 per cent accurate, however, like every other Covid-19 test, there is a chance of incorrect results, meaning that they are not 100 per cent reliable.
LumiraDx, the company behind the technology, also previously struck a deal with NHS Scotland to provide testing supplies, including 300 rapid testing machines and at least 500,000 tests.
How much will the test be?
The nasal swab test will initially be priced at £120, and is aimed at those who want “peace of mind”.
Discussing the price point of the test, Boots chief executive Sebastian James said that the pharmacy does not want to “make a profit” out of the Covid-19 swab.
He said: “We are just covering our costs as there is a big up-front outlay for all the kit.
“My thinking is that if the volume is large, we will be able to bring the price down. I’m hoping lots of people will want to do it and if they do, then we can make the price more accessible. We believe we are the cheapest test.
“We think it is pretty good value compared to others on the high street, which range from £270 at the very expensive end to about £150 in online clinics.”
Where and when will the tests be available?
It’s been revealed that the test will be available at “selected stores” across the UK.
The tests are expected to launch at Boots in November, and those looking to book a test will be able to do so via the Boots website.
You will have to complete a registration form and book online in the Boots online portal.
What has Boots said about the test?
James said: “Boots has supported the government’s Covid-19 testing programme from the very start and offering this new in-store service is the next step in our efforts to fight against the pandemic.
“We hope that by offering this testing option in local community stores, Boots can help ease the pressure on the NHS and the government by providing additional access to testing and crucial reassurances for people across the UK.
“As part of the UK high street for over 170 years, Boots is proud to serve on the front line alongside the NHS and we will continue to do our part to support the nation’s healthcare needs during this challenging time and beyond.”
Could I get a Boots test if I have Covid-19 symptoms?
Boots has stated that this test is specifically for those without symptoms, and instead is for those looking for some “peace of mind”.
People who think they have symptoms of Covid-19 should instead book a Covid-19 test via the NHS and stay at home.
You can book a free NHS Covid-19 test if one of the following applies to you:
- You have a high temperature
- You have a new, continuous cough
- You’ve lost your sense of smell or taste, or it’s changed
- You’ve been asked to take a test by your local council
- You’re taking part in a government pilot project
You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.
You can arrange a test via the government website.
Does Boots do any other Covid-19 testing?
The pharmacy chain also offers another 48 hour Covid-19 testing service, specifically for those without symptoms.
Boots explained that the service is available “as a private-pre flight testing service for customers who require a test before travelling abroad” and also is “an accessible solution for those who would prefer peace of mind before seeing friends or family”.
To obtain this Covid-19 test, you can simply fill out a registration form and follow the instructions on the Boots online portal.
Once you’ve arrived in store, a trained member of the Boots team will carry out the test, with results generally available within 48 hours.
The service is available at 10 stores in total around the UK, located in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, London and Manchester.
“Depending on demand and feedback, the launch may extend to 200 stores over the coming months,” Boots said.