Asymptomatic coronavirus testing will be rolled out across the country from next week.
People without Covid-19 symptoms who cannot work from home should be prioritised for quick turnaround tests, the government has said. The lateral flow tests will be made available to every local authority (317) in England from this week.
They say the expansion of asymptomatic testing will identify more positive cases of Covid-19 and ensure those infected isolate, protecting those who cannot work from home and our vital services.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) adds that this programme is “crucial” given that around one in three people have coronavirus without displaying any symptoms.
A total of 131 local authorities have signed up to community testing to date, with 107 already having started testing in their communities.
Many of these, including Essex and Milton Keynes, are focusing on testing of critical workers and those who must leave home for essential reasons.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “With roughly a third of people who have coronavirus not showing symptoms, targeted asymptomatic testing and subsequent isolation is highly effective in breaking chains of transmission.
“Rapid, regular testing is led by local authorities who design programmes based on their in-depth knowledge of the local populations, so testing can have the greatest impact.
“We are now expanding this offer to every local authority across the country, and asking testing to be targeted on workers who cannot work from home during this national lockdown, while asking employers to work with us to scale up workforce testing.
“Lateral flow tests have already been hugely successful in finding positive cases quickly – and every positive case found is helping to stop the spread – so I encourage employers and workers to take this offer up.
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