The UK Government has struck another partnership agreement with four London university labs which will see testing capacity boosted by tens of thousands over the winter period.
Based at University College London, Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London, the laboratories will join the nationwide effort to increase capacity and create the UK’s largest network of diagnostic testing facilities.
In addition, the target of 500 test sites in the UK has now been reached.
The increased testing capacity comes alongside continued improvements to the NHS Test and Trace service and the widespread adoption of the new Covid-19 app.
Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection Baroness Dido Harding said: “As the number of cases rises, so demand for tests continues to grow.
“We are working hard to increase testing capacity to meet that demand and improve turnaround times for tests. The announcement today of new partnership agreements with 4 London university labs will see tens of thousands of extra tests being processed over the coming months and into the new year.
“We have now opened 500 test sites across the UK, an extraordinary achievement. This increased accessibility to testing means the median distance a person is travelling to a test site is now just 3.7 miles.
“Alongside this, NHS Test and Trace has now reached nearly 700,000 people and advised them to self-isolate. I would like to thank each and every person playing their part in tackling this virus for the efforts they are making.”