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Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th May 2020.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to introduce mass community testing for covid-19.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Testing is a key part of the United Kingdom’s response to COVID-19, as set out in the Government’s recently published Testing Strategy.

The Government’s ultimate goal remains that anyone who needs a test should be able to access one and we will continue to expand our capacity until this is achieved. As our capacity has continued to increase, we have now expanded testing to the following groups in England (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland operate their own lists and criteria).

Where symptomatic:

- Essential workers (list on GOV.UK) including National Health Service and social care;

- Anyone who has to travel to get to work;

- Over 65s; and

- Symptomatic household members for any of the above.

Where asymptomatic:

- NHS workers and patients with or without symptoms, in line with NHS England guidance; and

- Social care workers and residents in care homes with or without symptoms, both to investigate outbreaks and, following successful pilots, as part of a rolling programme to test all care homes.

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