There have been reports of plans to stop free lateral flow tests in the UK, but Wales’ First Minister has said that any such decisions would have to be taken by all four governments of the UK.
Some newspaper reports have said that tests could be limited to care homes, hospitals and schools, and people with symptoms, but Mr Drakeford said that Wales is “well placed” to continue to have a “strong supply” of lateral flow tests.
The Sunday Times cited concerns in Whitehall over their costs, saying more than £6bn of public money has been spent on mass testing using the devices.
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Speaking at the latest coronavirus briefing on Friday (January 21), where it was announced Wales was on track to reach alert level zero by the end of the month, he said: “The funding decisions are ones made by the four nations together, [that’s] very important for me to emphasise.
“This is not a decision for the UK government to make alone and then to announce it to the rest of us.”
He added: “If the UK government is contemplating charging people for those tests in future that is a decision that should be made by us all. I’ve seen no proposition of that sort.”
UK Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has also dismissed the reports, and the Scottish First Minister said her government had not signed on to any plans.
“If UK government is really considering this (@scotgov certainly not signed up to it) it is utterly wrongheaded,” she tweeted.
“Hard to imagine much that would be less helpful to trying to ‘live with’ Covid.”
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