How regular, rapid Covid-19 tests will help get the UK out of lockdown

15 March 2021, 16:46

The test is easy and can be taken at home
The test is easy and can be taken at home. Picture: NHS Test and Trace

Around 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms - by having rapid tests twice a week, the public can help stop the spread of the virus.

With pupils across England returning to schools and the country on the pathway out of lockdown regular and rapid Covid-19 testing has a critical role to play in helping to keep families, friends and colleges safe.

The Government has urged all adults who live in households with primary school, secondary school and college-age children, including childcare and support bubbles, to test themselves twice a week.

As set out in the Government's roadmap, secondary school and college students will now be tested twice a week, receiving three initial tests at school or college before transitioning to twice-weekly home testing.

Primary school children will not be regularly asymptomatically tested due to low levels of transmission between younger aged children but will continue to need to come forward for tests if they have symptoms.

Around one in three people who have Covid-19 do not show any symptoms and could be passing the virus on without knowing.

Arrangements have been put in place for the testing of secondary school pupils and primary and secondary school staff who will also receive regular testing through schools.

The rollout will help keep Covid away ensuring people are kept safe and the path out of lockdown is able to continue.

Rapid testing aims to test as many people as possible to help stop the spread of infections – especially as places, such as schools, start to reopen to more pupils.

The test can detect positive cases in under 30 minutes
The test can detect positive cases in under 30 minutes. Picture: NHS Test and Trace


The rapid testing works quickly and can detect cases in under 30 minutes, meaning positive cases are able to isolate immediately.

The new home ordering service means you can order the kits to your home
The new home ordering service means you can order the kits to your home. Picture: NHS Test and Trace

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock supported the rollout of regular testing, branding it a "tool" to "help keep schools safe."

Mr Hancock said: "Regular testing of households and childcare support bubbles of primary and secondary school children is another tool we are making available to help keep schools safe."

"We know that 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 don’t have any symptoms, so targeted, regular testing will mean more positive cases are kept out of schools and colleges."

Around 10 million people are already testing twice a week
Millions of people are already testing twice a week. Picture: NHS Test and Trace

The Health Secretary urged everyone to "play their part" by getting regular testing explaining this would "enable vital public services, workplaces and educational settings can stay open and running, and we can move closer to a more normal way of life."

Getting a rapid test is quick and convenient. The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

  • testing in-person via workplace testing
  • local authority test sites
  • collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows
  • a new home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home

Get your free, rapid tests here

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rishi Sunak has warned the stabbing of Salman Rushdie should act as a "a wake-up call for the West"

Salman Rushdie stabbing should be a 'wake up call for the West' says Sunak, as he calls for sanctions on Iran

A dog show has come under fire for going ahead in the blistering 35C heat

Dog show slammed for going ahead during 35C heatwave despite RSPCA health warning

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP Jonathan Edwards to resign after assaulting wife

Plaid Cymru leader calls for MP to 'resign immediately' after receiving police caution for assaulting wife

Firefighters found an unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling a huge wildfire sparked by disposable BBQ in Dorset

Firefighters find unexploded WW2 bomb whilst tackling huge blaze sparked by disposable BBQ

JK Rowling has said she is working with the police after receiving a death threat

'You are next': JK Rowling receives death threat after supporting stabbed author Salman Rushdie

Hundreds of households have been without water amid the blistering heat.

Hundreds of households without water as blistering heat set to reach 35C before thunderstorms batter UK

The stage hit festival-goers at the Medusa Festival near Valencia.

One killed and dozens injured after stage at Spanish music festival crashes down in 'strong wind'

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, has faced criticism for his remarks.

Mick Lynch suggests EU influence and Ukrainians 'playing with Nazi imagery' provoked Russian invasion

Train strikes are set to grind the country to a halt on Saturday.

Major travel disruption across UK as train drivers strike over pay - find out the services affected

Britney Spears still married her husband Sam Asghari despite ex-husband Jason Alexander (right) attempting to "crash" it in an Instagram live.

Britney Spears' ex-husband jailed for trying to crash her wedding to Sam Asghari

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage. The suspect was named by police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey.

Salman Rushdie on ventilator and may lose eye after being stabbed as man, 24, denies attempted murder

The Mar-a-Lago Estate, owned by Donald Trump, lies at the water's edge in Palm Beach, Florida.

Donald Trump being investigated under Espionage Act, unsealed search warrant reveals

Anne Heche has died a week after the crash in LA

'We have lost a bright light': Hollywood actress Anne Heche dies aged 53 after LA car crash

The incidents took place in Skye and Dornie

Man appears in court charged with Isle of Skye murder and three attempted murders including his wife

Heritage Railway staff tell Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas the Tank Engine fans told to refer to the Fat Controller as Sir Topham Hatt

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods next week

Mayor of London 'seriously concerned' about possible flash floods in London