Everyone in the country will be encouraged to take two Covid tests per week to show they are not infected, Boris Johnson will announce on Monday.
The rapid lateral flow tests will be paid for by the government and can be delivered to homes for free starting Friday.
The multibillion pound test extension is designed to detect Covid outbreaks as soon as the economy reopens.
While the testing is voluntary, the ad could pave the way for workplaces or businesses to ask staff or customers to show they have a negative result.
It is also understood that the government is considering how the mass testing system could be part of an official ‘Covid certification’ system, whereby the public would be required to prove that they have been vaccinated, to show a result. negative up to date or prove they have antibodies from a recent infection in order to attend events or places.
The Prime Minister said: “Massive efforts have been made by the British public to stop the spread of the virus.
“As we continue to make good progress on our immunization program, and with our roadmap to carefully relax restrictions underway, regular rapid testing is even more important to ensure these efforts are not in vain.
“That’s why we’re now rolling out free rapid tests to everyone across England – helping us stop epidemics in their tracks – so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we love.” like.”
Mr Johnson will also announce at a Downing Street press conference on Monday – to be held exactly one year to the day since his hospitalization with Covid-19 – that the next phase of lifting the lockdown restrictions will take place from the 12th. April, including reopening outdoor pubs and restaurants and non-essential stores.
The prime minister will also unveil plans to allow summer vacation abroad from May 17, which is expected to outline a traffic light system with least-risk countries labeled green and travelers to those countries facing with the least restrictions.
Trials of vaccine passports and test certificates to allow people to visit theaters, cinemas, sports fields, nightclubs and music festivals this summer without social distancing will also be confirmed. The first of these events will depend heavily on testing rather than proof of vaccination.
As many as 384 million lateral flow test kits have been ordered by the government at a cost of over £ 1.3 billion, with at least an additional £ 900 million in contracts pending.
The idea of mass testing as a way to fight the pandemic was first pioneered last year by Health Secretary Matt Hancock under the name Operation Moonshot, which predicted up to 10 million tests per day. This decision will mark a significant increase from the current 1.2 million daily tests.
“As we reopen society and resume parts of life that we have all missed, regular rapid testing will be fundamental to helping us detect positive cases early and rule out any epidemics,” Hancock said.
“The immunization program has been a shot in the arm for the whole country, but recovering our lost freedoms and getting back to normal all depend on getting tested regularly.
‘The British public have shown over the past year that they adapt quickly and always do what is right in the interest of public health, and I know they will do their part by getting tested regularly. In the coming months.
More than 100,000 companies in England have expressed an interest in providing rapid tests to their employees, as companies should use the tests to help get staff back to work.
It could also mean that employees may try to force companies to make sure their coworkers pass the tests if they share office spaces.
Rapid tests are already available for frontline NHS staff; nursing home workers, residents and visitors; and schoolchildren and their families, but will now be extended to all, whether vaccinated or not.
The tests will help identify one in three people who have no symptoms. They are credited with more than 120,000 positive cases that would not have been found otherwise.
They will be available online or in sets of seven at pharmacies to be administered at home, or could be taken in the workplace, at local authority community testing sites, or at PCR testing sites.
With the deployment comes a tightening of the test and trace rules.
All hospitality customers will need to register using the Covid app, making it easier for the NHS to contact anyone who may have been close to someone infected with the virus. Previously, only one person from each group was required to register their attendance.
Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate for 10 days unless their result is reversed by a PCR test. People alerted by testing and tracing contact with someone with a positive result will also need to be quarantined for the same period.
Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace, said: ‘Rapid tests help us find cases of Covid-19 that we would not otherwise know, helping to break the chains of transmission.
“These tests are effective in detecting people who are infectious and therefore most likely to transmit the infection to others. This is another tool we have now to help keep infection rates lower.
“I encourage everyone to take advantage of the offer of these free rapid tests – they are quick and easy to do in your home.”
The use of lateral flow testing could increase dramatically if it were to become mandatory for entry to theaters, cinemas, athletic fields, nightclubs and music festivals under any certification scheme.
Mr Johnson will announce trials on Monday in which people will be able to attend events if they have had a vaccination, tested negative within 36 hours, or have had a positive test in the previous six months, giving them a certain immunity against Covid- 19.
“The infrastructure of lateral flow testing would be useful for this although it should be supervised. You couldn’t accept the home-tested lateral flow as evidence of being negative for Covid. I would also like to warn him by saying that no final decision has been taken, ”a government source said.
Pubs and restaurants will initially be exempt from vaccines or testing passports when they reopen for outdoor service on April 12. But ministers said they had not ruled out the possibility of requiring certification for entry later in the summer, according to data from Covid.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the health minister announced that those vaccinated would soon have certain privileges, including traveling without quarantine, visiting hairdressers and shopping without further testing.