'Wrong-headed' idea

SNP and Labour attack plan to scrap free Covid test kits

Lateral flow test kits may be restricted

UPDATE 9 JAN: Nicola Sturgeon and Labour jointly criticised reported plans by Boris Johnson to halt the free distribution of Covid lateral flow test kits. Scotland’s First Minister said it would be “utterly wrongheaded”.

The Prime Minister was said to be planning the move with a message that Britain needs to get used to living with Covid for at least another six years.

UK Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi later distanced the government from the report in The Sunday Times, while suggesting the reduction in isolation times from seven to five days could ease staffing issues.

Opposition parties queued up to attack the wisdom of axeing free lateral flow tests.

Scotland’s First Minister questioned the proposal and said the Scottish Government had not signed up to it.

“Hard to imagine much that would be less helpful to trying to ‘live with’ Covid,” she tweeted.

The UK Government buys test kits on behalf of all four nations, paid for via funding arrangements as part of the UK-wide national testing programme.

Ms Sturgeon added: “Testing so vital, we’d have to consider continued funding but it would then come from existing budgets.”

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