Policy paper: Community testing

Cabinet Office

January 20
18:00 2021


Community asymptomatic testing is a major new tool to help identify and isolate individuals who have COVID-19 but do not have symptoms and may inadvertently be spreading the virus.

Alongside the deployment of tests to NHS front-line staff, social care and other critical settings, testing of asymptomatic individuals within the community can help suppress COVID-19 and offer communities a direct route out of the toughest restrictions.

Published 26 November 2020
Last updated 20 January 2021 +show all updates
  1. Added to the list of community testing programme areas in the East Midlands, East of England, North West and South West regions.

  2. Following national lockdown restrictions from 6 January 2021, we are expanding the eligibility of community-led testing to all local authorities across England. The document 'Community Testing: a guide for local delivery' has been updated to reflect this offer. 'Community Testing: an explainer' has also been removed.

  3. Added list of community testing programme areas.

  4. Added list of community testing programme areas.

  5. Updated 'Community testing: explainer' and 'Community testing: a guide for local delivery' to reflect that the community testing programme has been extended to support Tier 2 areas with high prevalence and at risk of entering Tier 3.

  6. Added the attachment 'Community testing: a guide for local delivery'.

  7. First published.

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