All essential workers can have coronavirus test from tomorrow, says Health Secretary

All essential workers who have coronavirus symptoms will be able to book a test from tomorrow

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 7:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 7:28 pm

At today’s briefing Health secretary Matt Hancock said the Government was on target to reach to reach the promised 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month.

From tomorrow all essential workers will be able to have tests to see if they have the virus if they have symptoms and book a test online. Their employers will be able to book the tests from today (Thursday April 23).

He said the Government will introduce mobile units and tests will be sent to people’s houses.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Coronavirus latest.

It was part of the next stage in the strategy to tackle the spread of Covid-19; ‘Test Track and Trace.’

The infrastructure for contact tracing is now being introduced, he said.

He said: “I knew the 100,000 tests a day target was demanding.

“But capacity is being increased ahead of target. There is now the capacity to carry out 51,000 tests per day.

As capacity has increased, access has increased.

He added: “We are now able to expand who can get the test .

“Employers of essential workers who need a test will be able to book a test online at Gov.co.uk from today and from tomorrow essential workers will be able to do this themselves too. Relatives will be covered too. And the whole process will be free.”

There was a national network now of 30 drive through test locations which would increase to 48.

The Government was also introducing home test kits and with the help of the armed forces mobile testing facilities which could travel to places where they are needed such as care homes.

He said the country was still in the period of going though the peak of the virus. There was a gradual decline in critical care beds bein g used by Covid-19 patients, though deaths in hospitals remained at a plateau which was expected to last for a couple of weeks before declining.