LONDON

UK pharmacy Boots announced on Monday that they plan to offer a new, 12-minute coronavirus test in its stores over the coming weeks.

The swab tests are made by the UK-based LumiraDX and will cost customers £120 ($156).

Boots will also roll out a 48-hour testing service in 10 stores in all the UK’s major cities, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, and aims to boost capacity to 50 stores across Britain.

The tests will be for those who do not have coronavirus symptoms but want to get tested, those who do have symptoms will be asked to refrain from coming in-store — for fear of spreading the virus — and instead follow government guidelines.

Boots Managing Director Seb James told Sky News in an interview that the aim of the new scheme was to “ease pressure” off the NHS.

James said the test results are not currently accepted by airlines — who require a negative COVID-19 test result before letting passengers fly — because the results are processed in-store, as opposed to a registered laboratory, but nevertheless hopes that the Boots tests will be accepted by airlines soon.

The 48-hour tests are 99% accurate, he said, and the 12-minute test 97% to 98% accurate.

“It’s a miracle of technology and I think it’s just the beginning of how technology is going to help us solve this crisis,” he told Sky News.

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