Boris Johnson dishing out £170m on Amazon vouchers to encourage people into testing for Covid tests

The Office for National Statistics announced 400,000 will be invited on to programmes to collate figures on the virus. 

And each participant, picked in a random mail shot, will get a £50 voucher — rising to £425 for a 12-month stint.

They can be spent at 40 outlets including Amazon, Primark and John Lewis and TK Maxx.

Tory Matt Vickers, on the Future of Retail all-party group, said: “You’d have thought people would do such tests without a fee. But if they are to be paid, vouchers should only be spent on the high street.”

The ONS did not comment on where the vouchers can be used, but said: “The real value of that knowledge is likely to vastly exceed the financial cost of the study itself.”