It is an inspired move by the UK Government to issue thousands of free Covid-19 self-tests (rapid antigen test kits) to the population to help with children returning to school and the workforce to get the economy going again but there are a few points to consider when thinking about buying our Hughes antigen test kits or using these free issue ones.

Buffer Solution Tubes

An essential part of a Covid 19 lateral flow test is the buffer solution and within the free issue kits, this has to be squeezed into the tube from a separate extraction buffer sachet, whereas in the Hughes Healthcare kits the buffer solution tube is pre-filled with the right measure of liquid for faster and more convenient use.

(Ear?) Nose And Throat

A key feature of our Hughes test kits is that they require a nasal swab only, so are less invasive than the free government covid tests and other test kits for sale like Roche where you need a nasopharyngeal sample from the back of the throat as well as the nostril. See more in our blog post.

Will The Free Tests Continue?

It’s good to know that good-value and highly convenient test kits like our Hughes ones are available at good prices online, whereas inevitably the free tests will be discontinued at some point.  And at the time of this blog post (May 2021), the free kits are not issued in Northern Ireland, so our online shop selling three popular lateral flow test kit options is a great help right now to our Northern Ireland customers.  Update December 2022: Government shortages of free lateral flow tests in the UK mean that paying for lateral flow tests may be the only way to source them, until the free tests become available again.

Ease of Procurement

Buying rapid antigen test kits online is typically much easier than applying for free test kits from the UK Government.  The government have recently introduced an online portal where you can buy these, but it’s a time-consuming process.  Then there is the option of picking them up from a collection site, which is even more time consuming unless you happen to be walking past one of them.  And with the government free tests, you can’t buy in bulk in advance, you have to re-order regularly in small batches.

Covid Tests For Businesses – Record-Keeping Requirements

If you are a business taking advantage of the UK Government’s free provision of Covid Tests, you will need to keep extensive records, adding an extra layer of admin to the workload of your Health and Safety Manager or HR Manager.  The Hughes Tests, however, have no such mandatory record-keeping requirement, instead, it is the choice of the business whether or not they keep their own simplified records.

Speed and Accuracy

The remarkable results achieved in tests at Porton Down where the Hughes lateral flow device Covid test kit was 100% accurate was unprecedented.  Also, the results are available in as little as 15 minutes with these kits, in contrast to the Government-issued free kits which say to wait 30 minutes before reading your test result. A remarkable place – more detail on the secret defence aspects of DSTL Porton Down can be read here, the article includes the intriguing statement that: ‘No aliens, either alive or dead have ever been taken to Porton Down or any other Dstl site’. Buy Covid Test Kits Online

Conclusion – The Pros and Cons of Each Option

The most obvious downside to the Hughes Tests currently compared to the government provided tests is that you have to buy the Hughes tests, whereas the government tests are free (unless you live in Northern Ireland). On other comparison points, the Hughes Tests come out ahead – all-around convenience and time-saving are the 2 biggest pros, but other advantages include reduced user discomfort levels when conducting a test, and the ability to bulk buy. And on other comparison points, there is little to choose between them – both test kits are made in China, and distributed via UK stockists.  And both test kit options are proven to be highly accurate in an independent testing laboratory.

More Detail & Buy Online

Hughes Healthcare’s COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Lateral Flow Test Kits are a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2 present along the mucosa wall on the inside of the nostril. These kits offer the best combination of a very affordable price, CE marked quality assurance, volume stock availability, and accurate results. Contact us at 0845 034 9313 to discuss your needs today.

Government Free Covid Test Kit Contents:

Free Government Rapid Antigen Test Kits Pack Contents