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Boots to roll out 12-minute COVID-19 test

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read

Watch: Boots announces 12-minute COVID tests

High street pharmacy Boots is set to offer a 12-minute COVID-19 test, in the latest development in testing in the UK.

It will cost £120 ($156) and will specifically be offered for those without coronavirus symptoms.

The service will launch in selected shops this week before rolling out to 50 Boots locations throughout November, with a potential to extend to 200 stores over the coming months.

Boots said the initiative would “help ease pressure on the NHS and government testing programmes.”

The test, and device needed to process it, has passed regulatory hurdles in both the Europe and US and detected COVID-19 accurately in 97% of cases in trials of more than 500 patients.

The technology has been developed by UK-based life sciences company LumiraDx. The firm has also struck a deal to provide supplies to the NHS in Scotland.

Boots is also rolling out 48-hour service which available as a private pre-flight test for customers who require a test before travelling abroad. It is also an accessible solution for those who would prefer peace of mind before seeing friends and family.

A sign outside a store of pharmacy and cosmetics chain Boots is seen in London, May 16, 2011. Alliance Boots, owner of Europe's biggest pharmacy chain, does not expect its private equity investor Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts to sell out any time soon, it said on Monday after reporting a sharp rise in profits.    REUTERS/Luke MacGregor  (BRITAIN - Tags: BUSINESS HEALTH)
Boots' service will launch in selected shops this week before rolling out to 50 locations throughout November, with a potential to extend to 200 stores. Photo: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

READ MORE: UK small businesses urge more support as confidence hits record-lows

Seb James, managing director of Boots UK and ROI said: “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.”

In-store testing at Boots comes alongside the rollout of COVID-19 testing in some UK airports.

As of last week, passengers flying from Heathrow to Hong Kong will have the option of paying for a rapid test before checking in, costing £80. The results will be available within the hour.

Some destinations require proof of a negative result on arrival, including Hong Kong and Italy.

Watch: Can you catch coronavirus twice?