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18 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Everyone five or older with symptoms can now get a coronavirus test, Hancock says

By Samuel Horti

Everyone aged five or older with a symptom of coronavirus is now eligible for a free test, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

The expansion of the UK’s testing programme comes after the government added anosmia, a loss of sense of smell, to its list of coronavirus symptoms.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the expansion of Scotland’s testing regime earlier today – and this afternoon, Hancock confirmed it applied to the rest of the UK too.

He said that more than 100,000 tests were conducted on Sunday, one of the rare occasions the government has hit its 100,000 daily target.

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Hancock also revealed the government had recruited 21,000 contact tracers, surpassing its goal of 18,000. However, the full contact tracing system, which will involve both the contact tracers and an NHS app, will only be ready “in the coming weeks”, the Prime Ministers spokesman said today. Hancock initially said it would be rolled out mid-May.

(Image credit: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)