James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Covid: Which areas in England will get rapid turnaround mass testing support?
11 November 2020, 08:01
Over half a million rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests will be sent out by NHS Test and Trace to local public health leaders this week, signalling the next phase of the government’s plan to expand asymptomatic testing for Covid-19
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that directors of public health across England can now request support to deliver mass asymptomatic coronavirus testing in their local areas.
Mr Hancock said nearly half of all local authorities across the country have taken up the offer of the new lateral flow tests with a turnaround time of under an hour.
The minister told MPs he had written to every director of public health on Monday and was expecting "a whole load more" to sign up for the tests.
The “lateral flow” tests are made in China by US company Innova. Lateral flow is the technology behind pregnancy test kits, meaning they are simple to use and read, delivering results in 15 minutes.
The devices will be issued to directors of public health in the following local authorities:
Barking and Dagenham
Blackburn and Darwen
City of London
East Riding of Yorkshire
Hammersmith and Fulham
Kingston upon Hull
Kensington and Chelsea
Kingston upon Thames
Newcastle upon Tyne
Redcar and Cleveland
Richmond upon Thames
Stoke on Trent, Liverpool and Lancashire have already been provided with lateral flow tests before this week.