The UK Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that free access to lateral flow tests will continue for NHS staff after April 1st.
The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has welcomed the support for the safety of optical teams. Chief executive of AOP, Adam Sampson said: ‘This decision will help protect optical teams and their patients from infection and reduce the spread of the virus while prevalence remains high.’
‘No doubt, the added assurances to continue asymptomatic lateral flow testing within existing funding arrangements comes as a relief to many eye care practitioners – most of whom spend their day working in close proximity to patients in the testing room.’
In accordance with the UK Health Security Agency advice, the AOP have said that while LAMP testing will no longer be available after March 31, lateral flow tests will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal for NHS staff working in a patient-facing role.
NHS patient facing staff should continue to test weekly when asymptomatic. Staff who are in contact with someone in their household will now be able to continue to work if they remain asymptomatic and continue to test throughout the week.