To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the decision to end free access to lateral flow tests on the rates of covid-19 (a) infection, (b) severe illness and (c) death for people who are (i) at highest risk of developing severe covid-19 and (ii) clinically vulnerable to covid-19; and if the Government will reinstate the provision of free lateral flow covid-19 tests.
The most recent data indicates that rates of infection, hospitalisation and deaths in England have declined in the last month. We will continue to monitor prevalence and other factors to determine whether additional testing may be required.
For those who are immunosuppressed, testing to support effective COVID-19 treatments remains available. We will keep data on rates of infection, severe illness and death among all groups under review, including those whose immune systems mean they are at higher risk from COVID-19.