Boots launches coronavirus testing service which will have results in 12 minutes

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Boots has announced it is launching a coronavirus  testing service which will provide results in 12 minutes and is the "first step" toward mass testing on high streets.

The speedy test, which will initially cost £120, has proved to be 97 per cent accurate in trials and should be available within a fortnight.

Their introduction could allow more people to be able to travel, mix with friends and family and to return to offices.

A 48-hour testing service has been launched by the chain from yesterday  and it is hoped 200 branches will offer tests by  Christmas.

Chief executive Sebastian James said the test is a way to allow Britons to get on with their lives again.

Mr James told MailOnline: "We don't want to make a profit out of it. We are just covering our costs as there is a big upfront 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 private 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.

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Mr James added once the test "becomes more accessible in terms of cost" it "could be a very important weapon in the armoury against Covid".

 The £120 fees covers third party laboratory testing, courier services, digital services, staff wages and VAT and is likely to fall if demand grows.

Tests, will be distributed to stores over the next few weeks, are aimed at people with no symptoms but are seeking peace of mind.

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Those who reckon they have Covid-19 are being advised to go to an  NHS  testing station.

Boots has bought 100 portable devices from US diagnostics firm Lumira, that can give a verdict on a swab almost immediately.

Tests will be administered by trained staff in private rooms in a local store and Boots is also installing consultation rooms.

Tests will be initially offered in ten stores in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Then in November fifty branches will be added and this number could surge to 200 by the end of the year if there is enough demand.

Customers can book through an online app.

Boots believes that the service will ease pressure on NHS and government testing programmes.

It is more expensive than the airport service for passengers flying from Heathrow to Hong Kong, who can opt to pay for a rapid Covid-19 tests at £80.

  • Boots
  • Coronavirus

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