Everyone aged five and over is now eligible to be tested for coronavirus if they are showing symptoms, which have been expanded to included a loss of taste or smell.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock drastically increased the number of people who can get tested for Covid-19 across the UK on Monday, with the Government trying to track the spread of the disease in order to ease the lockdown.
His announcement in the House of Commons came after the chief medical officers added the loss of, or noticeable change to, taste and smell to the NHS’s list of coronavirus symptoms, weeks after experts first raised concerns that cases were being missed.
Anyone suffering the newly-added symptoms, or a continuous cough or high fever, should self-isolate for seven days to risk the spread of infection, and anyone they live with should stay home for 14 days.
Previously only essential workers, the over-65s and individuals who live with them could apply for coronavirus testing on the NHS website if they were showing symptoms.
But Mr Hancock told MPs that this was being expanded with immediate effect.
“I can announce to the House that everyone aged five and over with symptoms is now eligible for a test,” he said.
“That applies right across the UK in all four nations from now.”