From tomorrow (Feb 18), anyone concerned that they may have coronavirus can arrange to be tested at one of the mobile testing units.
And those without symptoms do not need to self isolate while waiting for their test results, unlike those who do show signs.
Interim public health director Valerie White said: “We’ve seen an evolution and expansion of testing capacity in recent weeks, as part of wider national developments.
“We’re happy to say that capacity is in place to allow a broadening of testing arrangements, with the hope that this may lead to more cases of Covid-19 being detected – helping to stop the spread.
“We appreciate that people may need to travel to access asymptomatic testing, but we anticipated that access to testing for people without symptoms will increase over coming weeks.”
She stressed that a negative test result only means you do not have coronavirus at the point of the test, adding: “You may go on to subsequently develop coronavirus, and therefore it is critical that even with a negative result you continue to follow all the FACTS guidance and abide by the current rules.
“While we’re happy to be able to announce this development, we continue to work with our colleagues nationally to see where testing resources can be deployed.”
All tests must be arranged by making an advance appointment at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by phoning 0300 303 2713. Those without symptoms will need to state that they are taking part in a Government Pilot Project, and then select the option ‘The person is taking part in community testing’ in order to be allocated a test.