Under President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 action plan, which was announced Thursday, retailers Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger will begin offering Americans at-home rapid COVID tests at a reduced cost.

The tests, which will be required by some employers, will go on sale to consumers beginning no later than next week. They will be available online and in stores at a discount of up to 35% for the next three months, according to the White House.

On Thursday, Biden said, “ From the start, America has failed to do enough COVID-19 testing. In order to better detect and control the Delta variant, I’m taking steps tonight to make testing more available, more affordable, and more convenient.”

The news of the cheaper at-home COVID tests comes as Biden also announced the expansion of free testing at 10,000 pharmacies around the country with $2 billion dedicated to purchasing nearly 300 million rapid tests for distribution to community health centers, food banks and schools.

“This is important to everyone, particularly for a parent or a child — with a child not old enough to be vaccinated. You’ll be able to test them at home and test those around them,” Biden said.

The COVID-19 action plan is a six-part effort that is designed to reduce the spike in virus cases brought on by the Delta variant. It included controversial vaccine mandates and other measures to rein in the spread of COVID.

The Delta variant has caused a spike in cases nationwide, particularly in states with low vaccination rates. More than 40.6 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, with over 654,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in the country, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

China has been testing residents of Wuhan for Covid-19 after a new outbreak in the city where the virus first emerged China has been testing residents of Wuhan for Covid-19 after a new outbreak in the city where the virus first emerged Photo: AFP / STR