Continue to provide lateral flow testing kits for free to students who require them when they are no longer free to the general public

Anonymous submitted on

Tuesday 15th February 2022


The government has announced that free lateral flow tests will be coming to an end in the coming weeks and that the general public will have to pay. If testing kits are continued to be made available for free to students, there will be better uptake of testing and increased control over Covid in the student community. 
Additionally, many courses, particular those in the Faculty of Medicine where lectures are situated at Southampton General Hospital require negative lateral flows before placements and/or lectures. With free lateral flow testing still available to students, there will be increased compliance with these requirements - it is unreasonable for the university to expect particular subsets of students to be buying their own test kits to fulfil these requirements set by the university and the hospital in order to attend parts of their course. It would also be detrimental to the reputation of the university if students were going on placement without testing as this could cause Covid outbreaks on placement and in yeargroups putting people at risk.


Here, you can view the complete set of official responses from the sabbatical officers regarding this submission.

Students' Union replied on

Tuesday 22nd Feb 2022 11:28am

Hi there - thank you so much for your submission, which makes a very good point. As of this morning, I have received a clear update from University colleagues, including the Dean of Medicine and the Director of Health & Safety. Firstly, as per new government rules, the University is now not able to distribute free lateral flow kits due to a change in distribution licensing. However, individuals can continue to obtain free lateral flow kits until April 1st ( Additionally, we are all - students and staff alike - strongly encouraged to sign up to the University's free weekly saliva testing programme ( I followed up on your point about medical students on placement, and the Dean confirmed that students on placement will be expected to access the same testing as healthcare staff, similar to the approach taken when vaccinations first became available. 

I very much hope this helps, and I hope it offers some reassurance.

- Ben. 




  • Forwarded to Union President

    Friday 18th Feb 2022 9:04am


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