After three months of steady virus lockdowns for all of Britain, the government is moving forward with plans to provide residents with a twice-weekly COVID-19 test along with more reopening steps expected to be announced on Monday.
The government will provide a free test starting Friday that will be accessible by mail, from pharmacies and workplaces. The test shows results within minutes. However, they are less reliable than the standard PCR test that has been used for the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the regular, free testing will be the way to “stop outbreaks in their tracks, so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy.”
It is unclear if the government’s goal is to make the testing mandatory for each individual, as vaccine passport becomes a probable requirement for future normalcy in the country.
With more than 127,000 deaths in Britain, the country has the most fatal virus cases in all of Europe. However, the rate of infection and death are falling due to the lockdowns and rising rate of vaccination.
More details in the country’s reopening efforts are scheduled to be announced by Johnson, including the possible reopening of hair salons, bars and non-essential stores.