We’re writing this because it seems not everyone knows you can order more or less as many COVID-19 lateral flow tests as you like, for free.
Along with vaccines, which are understandably getting more attention, this is potentially a gamechanger in trying to prevent what we saw last summer – a slow build up of cases which, as we learned the hard way, can easily turn into something worse.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of doing one of these tests, it’s a bit fiddly first time, but we’ve now got into the rhythm of it. You get a result in 30 minutes.
We’re being encouraged to do them twice a week and report the results – but you don’t have to, if you’re worried about the government abusing your data.
They are not always reliable, and a negative test should not be seen as a green light to do what you want. However, if everyone who was going to socialise did one before they went out, and then didn’t go out if they tested positive, that could play a significant role in suppressing any third wave.
It’s not mandatory – at the moment, anyway – but feels like it’s something we could all do, pretty easily, to help protect our fellow customers, hospitality workers and society more generally.
We’ll certainly be doing them regularly. Anything to help pubs stay open for good and make them really feel safe.