Boots launch COVID testing service with results in just 12 minutes

Boots launch COVID testing service with results in just 12 minutes

  • October 26, 2020
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Boots chemists are launching a COVID-19 testing service — with results available in just 12 minutes.

The high-speed test has proved 97% accurate in trials and should be available in Britain within a fortnight — but it is not yet know when it would be on sale here.

Chief executive Sebastian James said it was the first step toward mass testing for shops and chemists.



a man standing in front of a store: Boots chemists are launching a COVID-19 testing service — with results available in just 12 minutes. Pic: Julien Behel


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Boots chemists are launching a COVID-19 testing service — with results available in just 12 minutes. Pic: Julien Behel

Boots will initially charge £120 (€130) but this is likely to fall if demand grows.

The tests are aimed at those who have no symptoms but are seeking peace of mind. Anyone who suspects that they have COVID-19 is advised to go to a health service testing station.

Meanwhile, the scientist leading the development of a vaccine at Britain’s Oxford University said it was likely to reach key health workers and high-risk patients there by Christmas.



logo: The tests are aimed at those who have no symptoms but are seeking peace of mind. Anyone who suspects that they have COVID-19 is advised to go to a health service testing station. Pic: REX


© Provided by Extra.ie
The tests are aimed at those who have no symptoms but are seeking peace of mind. Anyone who suspects that they have COVID-19 is advised to go to a health service testing station. Pic: REX

Boots chemists have bought 100 portable devices from US diagnostics firm Lumira that can give a verdict on a swab almost immediately.

They will be distributed to stores in Britain over the next few weeks. Initial customers are expected to be travellers and companies seeking to bring staff back on to their premises. The tests could allow people to travel, to mix with friends and family and to return to offices that have been all but deserted.



a display in a store: Boots chemists have bought 100 portable devices from US diagnostics firm Lumira that can give a verdict on a swab almost immediately. Pic: REX


© Provided by Extra.ie
Boots chemists have bought 100 portable devices from US diagnostics firm Lumira that can give a verdict on a swab almost immediately. Pic: REX

Mr James said: ‘We don’t want to make a profit out of it. We are just covering our costs as there is a big upfront outlay for all the kit. My thinking is that if the volume is large we will be able to bring the price down. I’m hoping lots of people will want to do it and if they do, then we can make the price more accessible. Once it becomes more accessible in terms of cost it could be a very important weapon in the armoury against COVID.’

The fees covers third party laboratory testing, courier services, digital services, staff wages and VAT, he said.



a display in a store: ‘I’m hoping lots of people will want to do it and if they do, then we can make the price more accessible. Once it becomes more accessible in terms of cost it could be a very important weapon in the armoury against COVID.’. Pic: Shutterstock


© Provided by Extra.ie
‘I’m hoping lots of people will want to do it and if they do, then we can make the price more accessible. Once it becomes more accessible in terms of cost it could be a very important weapon in the armoury against COVID.’. Pic: Shutterstock

Online business is growing rapidly for Boots. Mr James is expanding healthcare services on the web and has been revamping stores, bringing in beauty brands such as singer Rihanna’s Fenty.

Boots is part of a global pharmacy giant, Walgreens Boots Alliance, created by Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina, 79.

Meanwhile, garden centre owners here were very disappointed they were not allowed to stay open as the Level 5 restrictions come at what is traditionally a busy time for gardeners around the country.

It is the time of year for planting fruit trees and hedging plants to start growing next spring.

It is also the time for flower bulbs — such as tulips and daffodils — to go in.



Mo Mowlam holding a flower: Meanwhile, garden centre owners here were very disappointed they were not allowed to stay open as the Level 5 restrictions come at what is traditionally a busy time for gardeners around the country. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins


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Meanwhile, garden centre owners here were very disappointed they were not allowed to stay open as the Level 5 restrictions come at what is traditionally a busy time for gardeners around the country. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Paraic Horkan’s garden centre in Castlebar, Co Mayo, said people need to be able to buy plants and tools to encourage them to stay active and garden at home, especially now during the Level 5 lockdown, when we are being warned not to travel beyond 5km from our homes and not to have visitors.

He said shutting down their businesses was a ‘mistake’ that will particularly impact negatively on the health of older people.

He explained that garden centres should be seen as an essential service at a time like this, as he stressed the emotional importance they provide to customers who are often older, widowed or single people living alone.

‘We have a lot of widowed people or single people who garden and they see the garden centre as a refuge space,’ he said.

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