New Lighthouse Lab to increase Test and Trace capacity

The government is seeking to continue increasing lab capacity ahead of winter, with a new Lighthouse Lab set to open near Loughborough by the end of September.

The new lab will be brought into the lab network and be able to process around 50,000 tests per day by the end of the year. The government has outlined a plan to scale up testing capacity to 500,000 swab tests per day by the end October.

Alongside increased Lighthouse Lab capacity, brand new large-scale processing units are being rolled out for use across both NHS and Lighthouse Labs.

Demand for testing continues to rise, with those tested for the first time increasing by 63 per cent since mid-June.

£500 million has been announced to increase capacity and rollout new cutting-edge testing technology to deliver rapid tests.

Dido Harding, interim executive chair of the National Institute for Public Health, said: “NHS Test and Trace has been operating for more than 3 months and during that time it has consistently reached the majority of those testing positive and their contacts, almost 330,000 people at risk of unknowingly passing the virus on.

“As the service has become part of our everyday lives, demand for testing has increased. To meet this, we continue our efforts to build and scale testing capacity to reach 500,000 tests per day by the end of October by making use of new tests, new labs and new technology. Thanks to all the people who have come forward for a free test, and the vital work of local teams around the country making sure people are aware of testing we are breaking chains of transmission. The advice remains the same: if you have symptoms of coronavirus get tested and if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, follow the advice you receive.”