The UK’s largest pharmacy chain Boots is now selling private COVID-19 tests for $155, but warns they’re unsuitable ‘for anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19’

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  • Walgreens-owned UK pharmacy chain Boots is now selling private in-store COVID-19 tests for £120 ($US157) each.
  • But Boots warned the test isn’t suitable for people who think they may have the virus – this is to keep symptomatic people out of stores.
  • The tests are available in 10 high-street Boots stores in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Boots will roll the tests out to 50 stores during November.
  • It also plans to launch a testing service that will give results in 12 minutes, it said.
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Walgreens-owned UK pharmacy chain Boots is now selling in-store private COVID-19 tests, it announced on Monday — but people who think they have the virus shouldn’t use them.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests cost £120 ($US157) each, which the company says makes it “one of the cheapest private COVID-19 tests available on the market.”

The testing is only on offer for those without symptoms, Boots said, to prevent infectious people coming in store.

“This service is not suitable for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19,” the company said.

Customers book an appointment online, and a staff member carries out a swab test. This is sent for lab testing, and the results will usually arrive within 48 hours, Boots said.

Boots booking
Customers have to book appointments online in advance. Boots

The service is currently available in 10 high-street stores in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

The company will roll the tests out to 50 stores throughout November. This could rise to 200 over the coming months, Boots said, depending on demand and customer feedback.

Boots has more than 2,300 stores across the UK, though not all of these are pharmacies.


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Over the next few weeks, Boots will also roll out a £120 ($US157) 12-minute COVID-19 swab test, which it will process on-site using a LumiraDx device. This makes it unsuitable for pre-flight testing, which has to be processed in a lab.

The rapid test is similarly only for customers without symptoms. Boots hopes the tests will “reduc[e] inappropriate use of the government testing program.”