More rapid COVID-19 tests to be rolled out across England

Over half a million rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests will be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to local public health leaders this week, signalling the next phase of the government’s plan to expand asymptomatic testing for COVID-19, the Prime Minister announced today.

Test kits will be issued to over 50 directors of public health across England this week, to enable local teams to direct and deliver community testing based on their local knowledge. Each will receive a batch of 10,000 antigen lateral flow devices as part of a new pilot to enable them to start testing priority groups.

Directors of public health will determine how to prioritise the allocation of these new tests, based on the specific needs of their communities, and will determine how people in the local area are tested. They will be supported by NHS Test and Trace to expand testing programmes in their area through access to training and clinical and operational guidance.

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