THE UK Government must guarantee funding for promised future Covid testing amid reports that the scheme is set to be scrapped, Humza Yousaf has said. 

The Scottish Health Secretary added that the UK Government must consult with devolved administrations before any final decisions are made. 

According to LBC, the plans would mean that anyone who wanted to check if they have the virus, including NHS workers, social care staff, the vulnerable and elderly amongst others, will have to pay for a test.

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The Department of Health reportedly did not deny the claims but said the testing programme was “under review”.

It comes as 5805 positive Covid tests have been recorded in the last 24 hours in Scotland, 687 more than the day before, and a further 16 people died from the virus.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Free tests and being required to isolate when testing positive are effective in addressing the virus and should remain for as long as the expert public health advice recommends.

The National:

Free lateral flow and PCR tests are reportedly set to be scrapped

“We are clear that all devolved administrations must be involved in any decisions about any changes to testing.

“If we reach a point that public health advice in any part of the UK is that testing should be maintained while others end it, the UK Government must honour its commitment to ensuring they remain funded.

“This is crucial to ensure all parts of the UK have the capability to address future variants that may emerge, which is why any decisions must be driven by public health advice.”

It comes after the Prime Minister and one of his ministers dodged questions on the issue.

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During a visit to Scotland on Monday, Johnson said: “On testing, which is important, we’ll make sure we continue to work with our colleagues in Scotland.”

When pushed, the PM added: “We’ll continue to work with our colleagues in Scotland but I believe the similarities in our approach vastly outweigh the differences.”

Scotland Office minister, Iain Stewart, told the BBC on Monday: “What we’ve said is that next week, if the figures and Covid continue the way they are, we’ll be setting out a comprehensive plan on what living with Covid in a normal sense looks like, but I am not sighted on what might be in that.”

The National:

Johnson was in Edinburgh on Monday as part of his UK tour

He added that there continue to be “regular meetings several times a week” between the UK Government and the devolved administrations on the Covid response.

The Department of Health did not deny the claims but said in a statement: "We've previously set out that we’ll keep the provision of free testing under review as the government’s response to COVID-19 changes.

"No decisions have been made on the provision of free testing. Everyone can continue to get free tests and we are continuing to encourage people to use rapid tests when they need them."