Quick turnaround Covid test could be 'major breakthrough' says Eustice

Oldham will get access to rapid COVID-19 testing

The letter states that an NHS England and NHS Improvement colleague will be in touch with patient-facing NHS staff to tell them more about delivery details and further logistical information in the coming days.

Lateral flow tests, with a turnaround time of under an hour - and as little as 15 minutes - have been available since Friday for people who live and work in Liverpool and do not have symptoms.

New quick-turnaround Covid tests being trialled in Liverpool could be a "major breakthrough" in the battle against coronavirus, the environment secretary has said.

The pilot has already been expanded to include children under 11 as well offering 11-18-year-olds the chance to be tested in 12 secondary schools and one special school with parental consent.

The "lateral flow" tests are made in China by USA company Innova.

Each of them will receive a batch of 10,000 antigen lateral flow devices as part of a new pilot project, so they can start testing for priority groups.

Local directors of public health will be responsible for deciding how and who to prioritise with the tests.

A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: "We have submitted an expression of interest to pilot mass testing in Norfolk and we are waiting to hear the outcome".

"If you're a director of public health and you haven't signed up for this yet, please do let us know and we'll get you on board".

It's hoped that it'll give local authorities a more accurate picture of the number of cases in their area and to build evidence looking at how well these tests can be delivered at scale.

The lateral flow tests, which do not require a laboratory to process results, will be used in addition to the existing testing facilities in each borough.

Mr Johnson also revealed the government was working with universities to establish similar mass testing capacity for students.

We await further guidance and clarity from government and once we have that we will work with our partners about how best to roll out these tests to make a real difference in our communities.

This will be followed by the successful launch of a pilot testing program in the city of Liverpool, where 23,000 people have signed up to be tested since Friday lunchtime.

The programme aims to test up to 50,000 people a day once fully operational, he added. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

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