Charity call to restore free covid tests for care home visits

Two-thirds of Londoners oppose the scrapping of free covid tests for visitors to care homes, a survey conducted on behalf of Alzheimer’s Society has found.

Testing: the government has withdrawn free covid tests

More than a thousand people have written to their MPs to echo calls from Alzheimer’s Society to ask Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to rethink urgently the decision and keep free testing for care home visitors.

The Tory government’s “Living with Covid” plan came into force on Friday, with all rules on precautions against the spread of covid, including guidance on self-isolation, abandoned. Meanwhile, infection rates from the deadly virus are increasing reapidly.

According to Alzheimer’s Society, “With some high street shops now charging up to £12 for a pack of five tests, families are facing costs of up to £733 a month to be able to visit their loved ones in care homes safely.

“Our Dementia Connect support line has heard from families concerned about paying for tests amid a cost of living crisis.

“The government must recognise the disproportionate impact paying for tests will have and although it was announced a small number of care home visitors providing close personal care will continue to get free tests, we feel this doesn’t go nearly far enough to allow everyone to visit safely.

“People with dementia have already experienced the devastating consequences of the pandemic and were worst hit, with more than 30,000 dying of covid-19 – many of whom were in care homes.

“With more than 78,600 living with dementia in London, families should not be financially penalised for trying to keep their loved ones safe.”

  • To support Alzheimer’s Society’s campaign to keep lateral flow tests free for care home visitors, click here
  • Alzheimer Society’s Dementia Connect support line can be called on 0333 150 3456

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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