Free twice-weekly rapid coronavirus tests for everyone – including kits delivered to homes or collected from chemists – could prove a significant step towards a resumption of more normal lives.
The initiative in England should slow the spread of an already suppressed virus and speed up the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
When one in three people with the virus display no symptoms, encouraging every one of us to be tested regularly benefits the nation by identifying unsuspecting carriers.
The gaping holes in the drive remain the flaws in the system to trace those the infected came into contact with, and the breadline sick pay rates which force workers to choose between wages and isolating.
A combination of mass testing and vaccinations is a path towards a summer of packed sports grounds, music festivals, parks and beaches. Even holidays abroad could restart.
With previous Government failures having cost lives and fortunes, the next test is to make sure that this initiative works.