News | Published April 24 2020

Covid-19 tests available for ten million key workers

Some ten million key workers and their households are now able to book a test for Covid-19 through their employer or online.

The new model will allow essential workers in England to register on the government’s website for a test if they or a member of their family is symptomatic. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said that expanding the country’s testing capabilities is an important "part of getting Britain back on her feet".

Those who are able to register for the tests include NHS workers, those employed in the social care sector, teachers, members of the justice system, supermarket and food production workers, transport workers and journalists. Prior to this announcement, a far smaller number of key workers were eligible for the testing programme.

Those seeking the test will need to enter their details online and will be invited to an appointment by either text or email. They can either attend a drive-through centre, or request a home test kit, however, these are currently in short supply.

The Army are helping efforts, travelling across the country to bring mobile testing units to places where they are needed including care homes.

The health minister said that test results will be delivered within 24 hours for the “majority” of people, however, it may take longer for others.

The government has still not met their target of performing 100,000 tests a day in England by the end of April. Yesterday’s figures indicated that 23,560 tests were carried out, just over a fifth of the target. According to Hancock, the country has the capacity to increase testing to 51,000 per day.

A further 616 people died due to the virus yesterday, and the total number of deaths in the UK has now reached 18,738.

In yesterday’s coronavirus briefing, Hancock also promised the recruitment of 18,000 people in order to trace the contacts of those who have been infected.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
April 24 2020

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