New campaign urges public to get tested twice a week

  • Public will be urged to take the ‘next step safely’ and start regular testing, as part of new campaign across TV, print, outdoor and digital media
  • Assets will be made available to workplaces and community spaces to encourage a new testing habit

From today (Friday 9 April) everyone in England will be able to access free, regular, rapid COVID-19 testing.

Alongside the roll-out of the vaccine, regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify variants and stopping individual cases from becoming outbreaks. Anyone can now access free, rapid lateral flow tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week, in line with clinical guidance.

To encourage people to get into the habit of using lateral flow tests twice a week, a major public information campaign is launching which will run across TV, radio, press, digital, out-of-home advertising and social media, with the TV advert airing for the first time on ITV at around 7:15pm on Friday 9 April.

The campaign explains that rapid lateral flow tests show results in under 30 minutes, and by taking them we can take the ‘next step safely’, protecting our loved ones, customers, workmates and friends as we continue to cautiously ease restrictions. It also demonstrates how people can fit these free, rapid tests into their morning routine to help create the new testing habit that will help to get us back to normal life.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus without any symptoms, so getting tested regularly is one of the simplest and easiest ways we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I’d encourage everyone to take up the offer and test twice a week.

Alongside the successful roll-out of the vaccination programme, rapid testing will be one of our most effective weapons in tackling this virus and ensuring we can cautiously reopen our economy and parts of society that we have all missed.

The British people have made a tremendous effort throughout the pandemic and I am confident they will do the same now by taking up this offer of free, rapid tests.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not experience any symptoms and may be spreading the virus unwittingly. Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, and by making rapid tests available to everyone, more cases will be detected, breaking chains of transmission and saving lives.

From Sunday 11 April, the ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’ campaign will update to remind the public of the need to use the NHS COVID-19 app to check in to premises, including outdoor hospitality, hairdressers and gyms. This will run across digital, social, radio and out-of-home channels.

Improvements to the venue check-in journey mean all members of a party will either have to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app or leave manual

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