Brits can do a free COVID-19 test twice a week starting 9 April. Residents receive the tests at home, or they can get them through their work or at local test streets. Tests are also carried out in schools.
Until now, people in Britain could only get a free quick test if they belong to a risk group or have to leave their home to go to work.
With the extensive testing program, the government hopes to quickly detect outbreaks and, for example, to find infections in people who have no symptoms. According to the government, rapid tests have detected over 120,000 infections that would otherwise not have been found.
The rapid tests, in combination with the vaccination programme, should allow for relaxation of measures.
Prime minister Boris Johnson will update the UK’s roadmap for coronavirus measures on Monday and announce plans for the reopening of the country’s economy.
Johnson is expected to announce that non-essential stores and hairdressers will be reopened on April 12. He will also probably give more clarity about the trial with ’COVID passports’ that starts on 16 April. This means that people with a vaccination certificate or a recent negative result can, for example, attend sports competitions or other events.