West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock encouraging people to take rapid tests

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said "second doses will go ahead as planned"

Matt Hancock is encouraging people to take the two free rapid tests a week - Credit: PA

Everyone in England will be able to take a free rapid coronavirus test twice a week from later this week. 

As we move closer to the next stage of the government's coronavirus roadmap, the government will offer everyone access to free, rapid lateral flow tests twice a week. 

Up until now rapid testing has only been available to those most at risk and people who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers, care home staff, and schoolchildren and their families. 

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock and health secretary said the introduction of rapid testing for everyone is "reclaiming our lost freedom" and that getting back to normal hinges on everyone getting tested regularly.

The government is encouraging people to take regular tests to help prevent Covid outbreaks. 

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A spokesman for the Government said: "One in three people with Covid-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unwittingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately. 

"Since rapid testing was introduced, over 120,000 positive cases that would not have been found otherwise have already been identified by the lateral flow tests. 

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"Alongside the rollout of the vaccine, regular testing is going to be an essential part of the easing of restrictions as it will help us quickly supress the spread of variants."

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