Government ramps up testing effort

We have launched a new plan to dramatically ramp up Coronavirus testing so that by the end of this month, we can carry out 100,000 tests every day in England. But in the meantime, the most important thing to do is for people to stay at home

Significant progress to increase testing has already taken place across the country to protect the vulnerable, support our NHS, and ultimately save lives. But we need to go further. That’s why we have published a new 5-point strategy, bringing together government, industry, academia, the NHS and many others, to dramatically increase the number of tests being carried out to 100,000 each day by the end of the month.

The new 5-pillar plan outlines the ambitions to:

  • 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 by mid to late April;
  • Deliver increased commercial swab testing for critical key workers in the NHS, before then expanding to key workers in other sectors;
  • Develop blood testing to help know if people have the right antibodies and so have high levels of immunity to coronavirus;
  • Conduct surveillance testing to learn more about the spread of the disease and help develop new tests and treatments; and
  • Create a new National Effort for testing, to build a mass-testing capacity at a completely new scale.

We will prioritise testing of NHS workers, to help ensure they can stay in work if they test negative. This will help protect life, and relieve pressure on our NHS.