Twice-weekly rapid Covid tests to be offered to everyone for free

Covid-19 rapid testing centres targeting people who unwittingly have the virus are to open in Haverhill and Lowestoft

Rapid Covid tests are to be made available for free - Credit: Suffolk Resilience Forum

Rapid coronavirus home testing kits are to be made available to everyone in Suffolk as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

The lateral flow tests, which can provide a result in 30 minutes, will be available for free from Friday and people will be encouraged to test themselves twice a week, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

People will be able to obtain a test through a home ordering service, workplace or school testing programme, or by collecting one at a local test site.

The announcement comes as prime minister Boris Johnson is due to meet senior ministers on Monday to sign off the next stage of the road map out of lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation during a press conference at 4pm today after rumours of a second...

Prime minister Boris Johnson will lead a government press conference later - Credit: PA

He said: "As we continue to make good progress on our vaccine programme and with our road map cautiously easing restrictions under way, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted.

"That's why we're now rolling out free rapid tests to everyone across England - helping us to stop outbreaks in their tracks, so we can get back to seeing the people we love and doing the things we enjoy."

Mr Johnson is to hold a government briefing on Monday afternoon where he is expected to reveal the next steps of the roadmap out of lockdown.

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He will outline plans for 'vaccine passports' for mass gatherings, as well as the government's approach for lifting restrictions on foreign travel from May 17.