Analysis

Rapid mass Covid testing comes with caveats that cannot be ignored

No solution is perfect, but the government has the means to improve and strengthen the UK’s new testing programme, writes Samuel Lovett

Tuesday 06 April 2021 10:49
comments
A pedestrian wearing a face covering walks past a sign directing people to a rapid lateral flow Covid-19 testing centre at London Bridge train station
A pedestrian wearing a face covering walks past a sign directing people to a rapid lateral flow Covid-19 testing centre at London Bridge train station
T

he government’s latest universal testing programme, confirmed by Boris Johnson on Monday night, shares similar scales of ambition to Operation Moonshot – which sought to carry out 10 million Covid tests a day by early 2021, at a cost of £100bn.

However, unlike its predecessor, this latest initiative is set for take off. Under new plans outlined by Downing Street, everyone in England will now be able to take a free rapid test twice a week, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. 

There are no eligibility restrictions to the programme. Anyone can request a test, enabling them to check from the comfort of their home whether they are carrying the infection. All schools, workplaces and other community settings will offer these services on a weekly basis.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments