Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a significant expansion to the government’s coronavirus testing programme, which will now include anyone over 65 with symptoms, all care home residents and staff, and anyone with symptoms that has to leave their home for work.
These people, as well as their families, will now be able to get a test, he said. All patients and staff in the NHS will also qualify for testing, regardless of whether they have symptoms.
Key workers with symptoms were already eligible for testing, and the expansion to other symptomatic workers that have to travel for their job would allow construction workers, emergency plumbers, research scientists, and many others to be tested, he said.
The government tested 43,453 people in 24 hours, according to the latest figures. Hancock said the government was on track to hit 100,000 tests a day before the end of the month, both through the expansion of testing eligibility and through providing more mobile testing sites and home testing kits.