Rapid COVID-19 tests rolled out across England

NHS Test and Trace will send out 600,000 lateral flow tests to local public health leaders across England this week as part of a new pilot to enable testing of priority groups.

The initial batch of rapid turnaround tests will then be followed up with a further weekly allocation of tests. Directors of public health will decide how to prioritise them based on their own communities’ specific needs. The new tests will provide results within an hour without needing to be processed in a lab.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:

“This rollout will further develop the evidence base for how testing with fast, reliable COVID-19 tests can be delivered at scale. Local leaders will also benefit from a more accurate picture of the number of cases in their area, by picking up those who may not have symptoms, supporting local decision-making to manage the spread of the virus and support their communities.”

Anyone who tests positive must self-isolate along with their household immediately.