I tried to buy a lateral flow test in Nottingham city centre and it was impossible

I tried to buy a lateral-flow test in Nottingham city centre, but found it impossible. As of Friday April 1, the government is longer providing free Covid-19 tests for the population as part of the plan to learn to live with the virus. To get the tests, most people now have to purchase them in shops, excluding eligible patients, NHS and care staff.

Today, I went to Nottingham city centre, following recent updates from Boots and Superdrug selling tests to find the best prices available in town. However, my hunt for tests was unsuccessful.

Heading towards the ever-crowded Clumber Street, Superdrug was the first shop of the day. A quick search online confirmed that the shop sells lateral flow tests for £1.99. But, is it the same price in-store? Unfortunately, the employees were not aware of such a thing. One said to me, “Sorry, but we don’t sell these tests here. Maybe try Boots.”

Read more: How to get a free lateral flow test after April 1

In a mix of confusion and uncertainty, I decided to double-check on my mobile phone whether Superdrug was indeed selling those tests or not. Within 10 seconds, I confirmed Superdrug was selling them so I’m not sure what happened there.

I decided to give a second chance to Superdrug but this time at the Victoria Centre. I made my way straight to the till, asking, “Good morning, are you selling lateral-flow tests here?” following a straight to the point answer “No, I’m sorry”.

Leaving Superdrug behind, I walked to Boots in the Victoria Centre. On the top floor, I came across an employee, telling me they had available tests at the prescription counter. However, next to the counter, there was a piece of paper saying, “Sorry, we have no Covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests in stock”.

Trusting in what was written, I left the shop and the centre with no tests and no hope of finding one in town. With the lack of Tesco’s, Lloyd’s or Morrison’s pharmacies in the city centre, it seems people would either have to travel or order the tests from online websites.

To add to the confusion, I later contacted Boots by telephone and was told that lateral flow tests are available at the medicine counter. It didn’t seem that way when I was there thanks to the sign, which must have put people off.