AN Ayrshire MSP has urged the Scottish Government to reintroduce free lateral flow testing for all amid fears some people can’t afford to check if they have Covid-19.

Labour MSP Katy Clark issued the plea at a time when infections reached their highest level since last July.

She insists efforts to control the spread of Covid “must not be dependent on individuals’ ability to pay” and has said bringing back free testing for all could save lives.

The Scottish Government scrapped universal free testing in April last year, although people who are susceptible to the virus or work in the health and care sector are among those who remain eligible.

Others have to pay for tests, with a packet of five typically costing around £9 at leading pharmacies.

Former North Ayrshire MP Ms Clark, who now holds a West Scotland seat at Holyrood, said not having universal provision during a cost-of-living crisis is “a fundamental mistake.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “All those eligible for free flu and Covid vaccinations are urged to take up the offer if they haven’t already.”