MAJOR PHARMACY chain Boots is to offer rapid coronavirus tests which take just 12 minutes to return a result.
Prevalent in Ireland and the UK, from today the chain is offering tests to people without symptoms in order to give them peace of mind before seeing friends and family, or for those travelling abroad who require a negative test before entering a foreign country.
Currently, the roll-out of tests will be available only in UK stores in order to assist the NHS with the second wave which is causing havoc as multiple cities and areas are forced to shut down the economy to slow the spread of the virus.
The pharmacy chain has confirmed that the rapid result tests will be rolled out in the UK in the coming weeks, which they hope will "help customers to quickly get peace of mind, revolutionising the speed of testing across the UK and reducing inappropriate use of the Government testing programme".
The rapid 12-minute tests, processed by LumiraDx devices, will give a result to the patient on the same day, and the standard tests still aim to send out results within 48 hours.
Managing Director of Boots UK and the Republic of Ireland, Seb 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 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."
The rapid test will not be able to be used as a pre-flight testing service, but will be vital to give people peace of mind that they are not spreading the virus while asymptomatic.
Those in the UK who wish to avail of the private tests or upcoming rapid tests can fill out a registration form and book an appointment through the Boots online portal (here).
The price is set at £120, which Boots say will make it one of the cheapest private tests and the market, and have indicated the price may drop further depending on demand for the product.