April 30, 2020
Every day we have been ramping up our testing, to make sure we meet our goal of 100,000 tests per day by the end of this month.
Last week we announced that coronavirus testing was available for all essential workers.
Now, we can announce that coronavirus testing will be rolled out to even more people, to help protect our most vulnerable and keep more people safe. Those who are displaying symptoms and are over 65, as well as people with symptoms who have to leave their home for work can book a test online now – and so can anyone else with symptoms in their household.
From the beginning, this Government has been led by evidence-based research and advice from scientists. The Government has followed a five-pillar strategy, designed to scale up testing in line with expert guidance.
From now, testing is available to all over 65s and their households with symptoms, and to all workers who would have to leave home in order to go to work. That means individuals and people they live with will have the reassurance of knowing whether they are experiencing coronavirus or not, and know whether they are safe to go to work.
From construction workers to emergency plumbers, from research scientists to those in manufacturing, the expansion of access to testing will help keep people safe and informed about the coronavirus disease.
In addition, building on successful pilots, this Government is rolling out testing of asymptomatic residents and staff in care homes in England and to patients and staff in the NHS.
This will mean that anyone who is working or living in a care home will be able to get access to a test whether they have symptoms or not.
The five pillar plan is the Government’s strategy to scale up testing for as many people as possible. The five pillars are as follows:
Scale up swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a medical need and the most critical workers to 25,000 a day in England by mid to late April, with the aligned testing strategies of the NHS in the Devolved Administrations benefiting from PHE’s partnership with Roche through a central UK allocation mechanism;
The Director of Health Improvement for Public Health England, Professor John Newton, has been appointed to help deliver the new plans. He has brought together key industries, universities, the NHS and the Government behind the ambitious testing targets.
Our strongest, home-grown businesses in life sciences and other industries are being encouraged to turn their resources to creating and rolling out mass testing at scale, and the government will support anyone with a scalable scientific idea or innovation to start a business.
Testing is one part of the Government’s overall strategy in the battle against coronavirus.
The Prime Minister’s action plan is a result of expert advice, and is targeted to stop the spread of coronavirus. That means fewer people are sick at any one time, and the NHS is more able to cope.
But by staying at home, you are also helping to limit the spread of coronavirus. By only going outside for food, health reasons or work, you will be doing your part to prevent coronavirus spreading further. Which will protect the NHS’s ability to cope.
We are starting to see progress in the battle against the virus. But for now, we have to continue social distancing measures so the NHS can continue to cope, daily death rates continue to fall, and to reduce the risk of a second peak.
So please, continue to follow the Government’s advice: stay at home, to protect the NHS, and save lives.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”