Over 65s with will now be tested for the coronavirus if they have symptoms, the government has announced.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock made the pledge as the government ramps up its plan to carry out 100,000 tests a day by tomorrow.
From today, all NHS and social care staff will also be eligible for testing, whether or not they have symptoms, as will care home residents, as previously reported.
Those receiving care at home had been omitted from the testing plans, a decision the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA) said makes “no sense”.
But the new announcement will mean that at least those aged 65 and over, as well of symptomatic members of their households, will know for sure whether they have had coronavirus and need to continue isolating.
It could also mean that the spread of infection is minimised and help providers target PPE supplies more effectively.
Anyone eligible can book a test using an online portal.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Expansion of our testing programme protects our most vulnerable and keeps people safe.
“Testing is now available to all over 65s and members of their households, if they have symptoms. All they need to do is go on the internet and apply for a test.”
There are now more than 40 drive-through testing sites across the country, and, by the end of the week, 25,000 home testing kits will be available for ordering every day.