Free, rapid twice-weekly COVID-19 testing for everyone in England is being promised by the government – starting this Friday.
It is aimed at people without symptoms, because one in three people with coronavirus don’t have them and may be spreading the virus unwittingly.
Tests will be available through:
• A home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home
• Workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
• Community testing, offered by all local authorities
• Collection at a local PCR test sites during specific test collection time windows
• Testing on-site at schools and colleges
A new “Pharmacy Collect” service will be another option. People over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of seven rapid tests to use twice a week at home.
The prime minister says the tests will “stop outbreaks in their tracks”, but Labour says they need to be backed up by financial support so sick people can isolate.