Eligibility for coronavirus testing is being extended to new groups as the testing infrastructure is expanded to try to reach the 100,000-per-day target. As of April 29th, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that all care home residents and staff can now be tested for coronavirus whether they have symptoms or not, following a worrying rise in the number of deaths at care facilities.
At the same time, anyone over-65 and their households will be able to get tested if they have symptoms, as can all those who have to leave home in order to go to work along with members of their households.
Anyone who wants to be tested can apply for an appointment at gov.uk/coronavirus, or order a home testing kit to be delivered. the government is aiming to send out 25,000 home testing kits per day by the end of the week.
Tests at care homes will be carried out by mobile testing units operated by the Army.
The new arrangements mean that there are no 25 million people eligible to be tested, with the current capacity running at 73,400 per day. The government aims to reach the target of 100,000 per day by the end of April. There are now 41 drive-in test centres open, with another 48 planned to go live this week.
This news comes as the total of coronavirus deaths in hospital reaches 21,678, with a third taking place in care homes.
As eligibility for coronavirus testing is being extended to new groups as the testing infrastructure is expanded to try to reach the 100,000-per-day target, the Scottish government is recommending that people cover their faces while in enclosed public spaces such as shops and public transport, saying that there could be “some benefit” in wearing a cloth face covering in places where social distancing could be difficult, and ministers in other parts of the UK are said to be considering the scientific evidence for introducing similar advice.