Everyone to have access to twice weekly rapid testing for covid

Lateral flow testing kits testing for Covid-19 Credit: TraceyAPhotos

Everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing from  April 9, the Government has announced.

Rapid testing has so far been available to those most at risk and people who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers, care home staff and residents, and schoolchildren and their families.

Now rapid testing will be offered to everyone, with people encouraged to take regular tests to help prevent outbreaks and reclaim a more normal way of life.

One in 3 people with COVID-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unwittingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately.

Since rapid testing was introduced, over 120,000 positive cases that would not have been found otherwise have been identified by LFDs.

The government says that alongside the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is going to be an essential part of the easing of restrictions as it will help quickly suppress the spread of variants.

Updates will be made to the NHS COVID-19 app in England to coincide with the offer of rapid testing for everyone.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Massive efforts have been made by the British public to stop the spread of the virus.

“As we continue to make good progress on our vaccine programme and with our roadmap to cautiously easing restrictions underway, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted.

“That’s why we’re now rolling out free rapid tests to everyone across England – helping us to stop outbreaks in their tracks, so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy.”

Getting a rapid test

The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:

  • a home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home
  • workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
  • community testing, offered by all local authorities
  • collection at a local PCR test site during specific test collection time windows
  • testing on-site at schools and colleges

A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing. People aged over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of 7 rapid tests to use twice a week at home.

The best route for testing can be found at NHS.UK. If testing at home, individuals will need to register their results online or by calling 119. They should self-isolate if positive and order a confirmatory PCR test.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should book a test online or by calling 119.

Recent analysis from NHS Test and Trace says that for every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out, there is less than 1 false positive result.


  1. Brilliant! This is what is needed so even those people who do not know they may have the virus, can be tested regularly to stop them spreading the virus! Everyone should be wearing a mask even outdoors, because if they have it unknowingly, they will be spreading it! Don’t be an idiot, get vaccinated its a matter of life and death!

    • Wearing masks does very little, other than in very close contact. If you look at the infection rates for the past year, it’s easy to see when lockdowns were imposed and released. The imposition of mask wearing in shops and on trains made no noticable difference.
      Yes to getting tested regularly.
      Bonkers to even think about opening up international travel. We’re hardly able to keep control of our own covid variants, without importing foreign ones.

  2. Why? This is completely illogical and laughable. Stay at home if you have succumbed to the weaponised fear messages. Enjoy your life if you have preserved a good immune system and do your own independent research from experts world-wide. And have looked at the MHRA, EMA and CDC adverse reactions and death stats re: the vaax, and the health warnings on masks. There will be viruses for the rest of our lives – some might actually like locking down forever and will willingly comply to their imprisonment. Sane people won’t.

    • I’m not entirely with you if you think a “sane” person is one who rejects science and instead embraces conspiracy theories.
      “Insane” is more appropriate to describe the actions of those who reject the benefits to themselves and society of a vaccine which is millions of time more likely to do good than harm.

  3. What the hell are these “weaponized fear messages”? Nobody I’ve asked seems to know!

    What are “vaax”?

    I am sane but I think lockdown is a very sensible idea. It’s a pity so many people did not follow the rules.As for travelling abroadfor holidays , it should be completely banned at present.

  4. He’s another pillock Marva! Masks are meant to stop people infecting others by breathing on them! On TV recently there was a competitive marathon runner, who caught the virus, which nearly killed him! Yes, underlying health problems can make it harder to recover, but in many cases getting infected will kill no matter how fit you are!

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