Laura Sharman 03 November 2020

Liverpool to pilot mass coronavirus testing

The first pilot of whole city testing for COVID-19 is to be carried out in Liverpool.

The scheme will see everyone living or working in the city offered a coronavirus test, regardless if someone has any symptoms or not.

The pilot will help explore if mass testing can be achieved and if reliable testing can be delivered at scale.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, 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.'

A combination of swab tests and new lateral flow tests will be used, which can rapidly turn around results within an hour without the need to be processed in a lab

The military are deploying 2,000 personnel to help deliver the lateral flow testing part of the programme.

Prime minister, 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.'

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