Free lateral flow Covid tests will continue to be available for free in Wales until July 31, it has been confirmed.

Welsh Health Minister, Eluned Morgan confirmed today (June 24) that access to free LFD tests will be extended in Wales.

Tests will be available to the public that are showing symptoms of coronavirus alongside free access for people visiting someone eligible for new Covid-19 treatments.

The announcement has been made after a rise in new cases with one in 45 across Wales in the currently infected.

The rise has been linked to the emergence of the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.

Testing will also be available for symptomatic care home residents and prisoners, pre-operative patients, care home residents returning from hospital and health and social care staff.

Those visiting people in care homes are being advised they should continue to test using tests provided by the care home they are visiting.

Minister for health and social services Eluned Morgan said: “Testing has been an effective tool in breaking the chain of transmission and with an increase in cases its vital that we keep testing in place to protect the most vulnerable in our society. As we have seen before, Covid can quickly change, I am announcing this extension in response to the changing picture and new variants of concern.

"I would also ask people to take protective measures to protect the more vulnerable in the community, wear masks in health and care settings, stay at home if you test positive, and take up the offer for the vaccine.

"We know that the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, I would urge those eligible to have their spring booster if they have not already had it, the booster is available until June 30.”

It has been confirmed self-isolation payments of £500 will end on June 30. The Covid-19 Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement scheme, on the other hand, will be extended until August 31 to support social care staff to stay away from work due to testing positive.

Mr Morgan added: “Covid has not gone away, whilst we are learning to live safely with it, we will continue to monitor the situation and as we have done for the last two years, we will work together to Keep Wales Safe.”