New Test and Trace campaign launched

NHS Test and Trace is launching a new campaign to encourage everyone with symptoms to get a free test alongside a new business plan to expand testing capacity and prepare the nation for winter.

NHS Test and Trace  has now contacted more than 218,000 people who have tested positive for the virus, or recently been in contact with someone who has.

Now, the new public health campaign across England will help build public understanding about the integral role NHS Test and Trace plays, whilst at the same time encouraging people to get a free test as soon as they develop symptoms and making them aware of the need to respond to the service if contacted.

The campaign is underpinned by a new business plan for NHS Test and Trace which outlines how the service will expand ahead of the winter. The government says that the number of tests given to people without symptoms will increase to 150,000 per day by September, with testing capacity to double to 500,000 with more than 500 testing sites by October. By this point, it is hoped that the majority of people living in urban settings will be no more than a 30-minute walk from a test site.

Dido Harding, the head of Test and Trace, said: “The NHS Test and Trace service is a vital part of enabling us to get back to safely doing the normal things we love, and will become ever more important as we approach winter. By working in partnership with local public health and local authority teams we are already helping stop the spread of coronavirus across England, by reaching over 200,000 people who may have been at risk of passing it on.

“I urge everybody to get a free test as soon as you experience coronavirus symptoms and to follow the advice you’re given if you are contacted by the service. If we all continue to play our part, then together we can stop the spread of this virus.”