Over half a million rapid turnaround lateral flow tests are being distributed to 50 directors of public health across the country.
The rapid turnaround tests are designed to be able to test asymptomatic people and help to drive the R rate down by targeting people who may never be told to self-isolate due to a lack of symptoms.
Directors of public health will receive 10,000 tests in the first roll-out, with weekly allocation being given equivalent to 10% of the population of the community that the tests are sent to.
The lateral flow tests began their trial in Liverpool just over a week ago, with the Government believing that they have been implemented effectively enough for the scheme to be implemented throughout the country.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:
“Last week we rolled out mass testing in Liverpool using new, rapid technology so we can detect this virus quicker than ever before, even in people who don’t have symptoms. Mass testing is a vital tool to help us control this virus and get life more normal.
“I am delighted to say 10,000 of these tests will now be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to over 50 directors of public health as part of our asymptomatic testing strategy. I want to thank all directors of public health for their support and efforts over the past months to help us tackle this virus, bring it under control and get the country back to what we love doing.”