Roll-out of two new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter

Millions of rapid coronavirus tests will be rolled out to hospitals, care homes and labs across the UK to increase testing capacity ahead of winter.

Two new tests – both able to detect the virus in just 90 minutes – will be made available to NHS hospitals, care homes and labs. The two tests will be able to detect both COVID-19 and other winter viruses such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The tests do not require a trained health professional to operate them, meaning they can be rolled out in more non-clinical settings.

This will help to further strengthen the coronavirus response this winter, arming both clinicians and NHS Test and Trace with the ability to distinguish between COVID-19 cases, which have specific self-isolation requirements, and other winter viruses.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will provide on-the-spot results in under 90 minutes, helping us to break chains of transmission quickly. The fact these tests can detect flu as well as COVID-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others."

A new test that uses DNA to detect the virus will be rolled out across NHS hospitals from September, with 5,000 DNA machines, supplied by DnaNudge, to provide 5.8 million tests in the coming months.

Separately, 450,000 90-minute LamPORE swab tests will also be available across adult care setting and laboratories this week, supplied by Oxford Nanopore.