City to become centre of government’s key strategy for fighting the virus with hundreds of thousands of quickfire tests bringing hopes of a more normal Christmas for local people
Everyone living or working in Liverpool will be offered regular covid-19 tests in the first whole city programme in the country – with rapid turnaround tests available across the city from Friday.
Two thousand military personnel will arrive in the city later this week to roll-out a huge programme of hundreds of thousands of tests as Liverpool becomes the centre of the government’s new strategy to fight the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has talked of rapid mass testing as offering a “moonshot” solution which could help bring the UK out of the coronavirus crisis – and the key plan will begin in Liverpool this week.
Local leaders have been working with government and put the city forward for the crucial pilot programme in the hope it will drive down infection levels and potentially mean an easing of restrictions before Christmas.
Liverpool residents and workers will be tested using a combination of existing swab tests, as well as new lateral flow tests, which can rapidly turn around results within an hour without the need to be processed in a lab, as well as ‘LAMP’ technology due to be deployed in Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for NHS staff.
The pilot will help to inform a blueprint for how mass testing can be achieved and how fast and reliable covid-19 testing can be delivered at scale.