From 9 April, everyone in England will be able to take a rapid coronavirus test, for free, twice a week, Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock announced on Monday.
People will have the tests delivered to their homes, or they can get them through their work or at local testing facilities. Tests will also be administered in schools.
Until now, people in England could only get a free rapid test if they were part of a risk group, or had to leave their home to go to work.
Everyone will be able to take a free rapid coronavirus test twice a week from the 9th April.Reclaiming our lost freedoms & getting back to normal hinges on us all getting tested regularly.https://t.co/4i53gOmykA — Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) April 5, 2021
With the extensive testing programme, the government hopes to detect outbreaks quickly and find infections in people who have no symptoms. Together with the vaccination programme, the rapid tests should allow relaxations in the measures.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to update the UK's coronavirus roadmap and announce plans to reopen the country's economy today.
"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," he said in an announcement.
"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," Johnson added.
The Brussels Times