The Sunday Telegraph

Covid tests for sale will face UK quality checks, say ministers

- By Christophe­r Hope

ALL private Covid tests will be subject to UK quality assurance checks, after the Government admitted too many are being sold that do not work properly.

Ministers have set out plans to ensure all tests meet “minimum performanc­e standards” because as little as a quarter of privately made lateral flow devices are “of sufficient quality for procuremen­t”.

The news comes after No 10 said everyone in England would be offered twice-weekly tests as part of the push to “reclaim a more normal way of life”.

The Government will establish “a requiremen­t that all Covid-19 tests placed on the UK market undergo a mandatory validation process”. A consultati­on document, “Private Covid-19 testing validation”, said: “Tests that fail this process would be barred from sale. Retailers, distributo­rs and manufactur­ers of tests that attempt to sell unvalidate­d tests would face sanction.

“This will apply equally to companies based in the UK and those overseas importing into the UK.”

The Department of Health said: “While testing kits purchased by the NHS must meet strict minimum standards, our proposals aim to ensure all tests available in the UK meet the same high standards. The Government is preparing for the new testing validation scheme to be ready in summer 2021.”

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