To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using frequent rapid antigen tests to help slow the transmission of covid-19.
20 November 2020
We believe there are many potential merits of using frequent rapid antigen tests to help slow the transmission of COVID-19. The use of multiple new testing technologies could significantly improve our detection of positive cases, so that people can isolate themselves and prevent the spread of the disease. As part of the first deployment of whole city testing, residents and workers in Liverpool will for example be tested using a combination of existing swab tests, as well as new lateral flow tests which can rapidly turn around results within an hour without the need to be processed in a lab, as well as LAMP technology due to be deployed in Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for National Health Service staff.
We have also started a number of pilots across schools, universities and workplaces to assess the use of rapid lateral flow antigen tests. This is in addition to ongoing pilots in Liverpool, Southampton and Salford using the LAMP no-swab saliva test and LAMP asymptomatic testing for NHS staff.