Rapid coronavirus tests to be made available to everyone in England from April 9
Twice weekly lateral flow testing kits regardless of symptoms
Everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing from Friday, the Government has announced.
The rapid lateral flow tests (LFTs), to use twice a week, have so far been available to people most at risk and who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers, care home staff and residents, and schoolchildren and their families.
The tests will be available regardless of whether people have symptoms from April 9.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Massive efforts have been made by the British public to stop the spread of the virus.
"As we continue to make good progress on our vaccine programme and with our roadmap to cautiously easing restrictions underway, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted.
"That’s why we’re now rolling out free rapid tests to everyone across England – helping us to stop outbreaks in their tracks, so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy."
The offer of free testing is being expanded to companies with more than 10 workers where on-site testing is impossible.
The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through a home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home.
Tests can also be delivered through workplace testing programmes on-site or at home, community testing, offered by all local authorities, collection at a local PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test site, such as Newbury Showground, and on-site at schools and colleges.
A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing. People aged 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 best route for testing can be found at www.NHS.UK/get-tested
If testing at home, people will need to register their results online or by calling 119. They should self-isolate if positive and order a confirmatory PCR test.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 should book a test online or by calling 119.