UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Johnson wants all Britons to take part in a twice weekly mass covid screening ‘to stop outbreaks in their tracks’ and ‘set the country free’.
Johnson announced a massive expansion of covid testing with free rapid kits being made available to everyone in England from this Friday.
He claims said the multi-billion pound move could help the country return to normality by picking up asymptomatic cases and identifying local outbreaks faster.
The Mail Online reports: But concerns were immediately raised as when used on that scale the tests could wrongly label tens of thousands of people a week as having Covid – forcing them to isolate and get more reliable PCR checks to show they are clear.
At an Easter Monday press conference this evening, Mr Johnson will confirm the next stage of the lockdown roadmap is on schedule – with shops, gyms and hairdressers allowed to reopen from next week.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes will also be given the green light to return for outdoor customers.
The premier is also set to give a hint on the way forward for foreign holidays, with a ‘traffic light’ system expected to be introduced for destinations when the blanket ban on travel is dropped – potentially from May 17.
And Mr Johnson will give a ‘high level’ indication of the government’s plan for coronavirus passports, with pilots being held to try to get crowds back at sporting and other events.
But the government faces prospect of losing a vote on the controversial concept as Tory rebels join forces with Labour to raise civil liberties objections.
The fast-turnaround tests, which produce results in just half an hour, do not require lab analysis and will be available for use at home.
Mr Johnson last night said the huge testing programme was needed to ensure that the sacrifices made in recent months ‘are not wasted’.