Those living in Liverpool will be offered rapid turnaround Covid tests on a weekly basis as part of Operation Moonshot, a mass testing scheme.
Those living in Liverpool will be offered rapid turnaround Covid tests on a weekly basis as part of Operation Moonshot, a mass testing scheme. The scheme will be launched on Friday, a day after the country goes into a second national lockdown. Boris Johnson said the scheme “has the potential to be a powerful new weapon in our fight against Covid” and has promised to distribute “millions between now and Christmas.”
Covid tests offered to Liverpudlians
Liverpool has been under tier three restrictions for just under three weeks and its intensive care units are close to full capacity. It recorded 366.4 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people last week. 2,000 members of the armed forces will work with NHS staff to administer hundreds of thousands of Covid tests to Liverpudlians.
Testing will be carried out in hospitals, care home settings, schools, universities, workplaces and using at-home kits. People can book a test online, by walk-in, or by invitation from the local authority and they will be able to receive a result within an hour.
Following months of criticism of the test and trace scheme, Boris Johnson said: ‘These tests will help identify the many thousands of people in the city who don’t have symptoms but can still infect others without knowing. Dependent on their success in Liverpool, we will aim to distribute millions of these new rapid tests between now and Christmas and empower local communities to use them to drive down transmission in their areas. It is early days, but this kind of mass testing has the potential to be a powerful new weapon in our fight against Covid-19.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, said: “Using half a million of the very latest rapid tests, this rollout can help suppress the virus and give residents and workers some peace of mind. Everyone in Liverpool can help play their part by getting a test and following the rules, including the critical basics of hands, space, face.”
Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said: “We are pleased that our numerous conversations have resulted in Liverpool becoming a pilot for mass testing, which will help to quickly identify people who have the virus and reduce transmission substantially.”
Baroness Dido Harding, interim executive chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said that the pilot is a “really important step forward”, adding: “By everyone in Liverpool coming forward to get tested, and isolating if they need to, we have a real opportunity to make a massive difference.”