From 9 am today, the new NHS Test and Trace service launched across England - helping us to keep the virus under control while carefully and safely lifting the lockdown nationally.

  • As we move to the next phase of our fight against coronavirus, we must ensure we continue to control the spread and do not compromise the progress we have made.
  • The new scheme will mean anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by one of the 25,000 contact tracers; they will help trace anyone who had been in close contact with the infected individual, ensuring they isolate for 14 days, thereby avoiding them unknowingly spreading the virus. These tracers will be capable of tracking the contacts of up to 10,000 new cases a day. 
  • NHS Test and Trace will be vital to stopping the spread of the virus. It is how we will be able to protect our friends and family from infection, and protect our NHS. But everyone must play their part so together we can continue to control the virus and save lives.

We have extended testing to all symptomatic individuals in England, helping us to continue to monitor the virus and take appropriate action quickly 

  • Thanks to our hugely ramped up testing capacity we are now in a position to extend testing while ensuring testing capacity is available to those who need it most – our frontline staff and those most vulnerable.
  • From today, anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste can immediately report these symptoms and book a test at Expanded testing availability for children aged under 5 will also be available from today, to help support the phased opening of schools and childcare settings in England from 1 June.
  • While we cautiously move to the next phase of our response to this unprecedented virus testing will remain key – alongside the continued heroic efforts of the British public in controlling the spread of the virus and in doing so, saving lives.