he government’s latest universal testing programme, confirmed by Boris Johnson on Monday night, shares similar scales of ambition to Operation Moonshot – which sought to carry out 10 million Covid tests a day by early 2021, at a cost of £100bn.
However, unlike its predecessor, this latest initiative is set for take off. Under new plans outlined by Downing Street, everyone in England will now be able to take a free rapid test twice a week, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
There are no eligibility restrictions to the programme. Anyone can request a test, enabling them to check from the comfort of their home whether they are carrying the infection. All schools, workplaces and other community settings will offer these services on a weekly basis.