Every adult will be encouraged to test themselves for coronavirus at least twice a week under new plans to help ease Britain out of lockdown.
Testing chiefs are driving the message in the hope of identifying people without symptoms.
They think that getting people to regularly swab is essential in driving down the spread of the virus and an advertising campaign will encourage Britons to play their part.
The new drive, revealed by the Times, will be supplemented by national sewage monitoring, and it’s expected that areas with growing cases will then be immediately identified and stopped by surge testing, possibly reducing the demand for future lockdowns.
Britain’s successful vaccine drive has led to calls for the lockdown to be eased more quickly, despite fresh regulations to prolong emergency government powers to extend restrictions by up to six months.
The bill is expected to sail through parliament despite threats of a Tory revolt.
The Tory MPs warned that Britain risks squandering the advantages of our vaccination programme by moving too slowly to lift the lockdown.
Amid signs of a mass revolt, a string of MPs said they were ready to vote against the Government this week when it attempts to extend COVID laws to the end of September.
The NHS yesterday revealed a third consecutive record day of vaccinations with 844,285 on Saturday.
The Institute of Economics Affairs yesterday said the success of the programme meant there was now a clear case for bringing forward Boris Johnson’s road map dates by four weeks.
This view was supported by Tory backbenchers, including former minister Steve Baker.
Mr Baker, the head of the COVID Recovery Group, said he will vote against plans to extend government powers, warning that the detention powers in the Coronavirus Act were excessive, unreasonable, and completely unnecessary and that renewing them would not be reconcilable with the Prime Minister’s guarantee that they’re on a one-way road to freedom by June 21.
Windsor MP Adam Afriyie said that he worries that some minds in government were centring on arbitrary dates rather than looking at the reality of the data on hospitalisations and deaths, which was what they were told in January would determine the unlocking.
Christopher Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said that even if the vaccination programme slowed down next month, they were in a far better place than anybody anticipated in January and that there was a strong case for bringing the roadmap forward by four weeks.
So, it seems it’s back to cases we go, and it’s a never-ending cycle – deaths, deaths, deaths, and then when those numbers fall, it’s cases, cases, cases, and then when those fall, those that haven’t learned from the past year, never will, but don’t forget, vaccines are the way out – right?