Operation ‘Moonshot’ is a plan to get op to 10million of the tests are due to be made available every day as a way of getting the UK closer to normality before the advent of a coronavirus vaccine.
However, Dido Harding said that individuals and companies would have to pay to access the proposed tests, which would return results in as little as 15 minutes, as a “cost of doing business”.
Zarah Sultana MP for Coventry South Tweeted: Baroness Dido Harding today said ‘moonshot’ tests won’t be provided by the NHS. The public will have to pay. It cannot be right for tests to be available to those who can afford them but denied to the rest. Access should be based on need, not ability to pay.”
She told members of the CBI business group: “For that sort of test that may be a normal cost of doing business to be able to have non-socially distanced activities, but that’s different than for symptomatic people who should always feel like they can come to an NHS service.”
Moonshot tests, which don’t actually exist yet, could reduce the need for social distancing at work, thereby increasing office capacity and getting people back to work.
It comes as the Government has performed another u-turn and is asking people to work from home and not come into workplaces, after weeks of trying to persuade people out of their homes to work.
Hugo Gye, Deputy political editor, @theipaper called it ‘pay to play.’
Work from home
Boris Johnson has been forced to abandon his drive to get Britons back to the workplace as he prepares to announce new restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be ordered to close by 10pm each night from Thursday, a move which has angered a hospitality industry already battered by the pandemic.
The Prime Minister will face MPs, including Tories who are uneasy about the way the Government has imposed restrictions, before an address to the nation this evebing.
He will outline other measures to stop the spread of Covid-19, which will also restrict the hospitality sector to table service only.
Mr Johnson will emphasise the need for people to follow social-distancing guidance, wear face coverings and wash their hands regularly.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove accepted that the Government’s call for people to return to the workplace, a measure seen as critical for the survival of cafes and other businesses which rely on commuters and office workers, had been dropped.
He said there was a “shift in emphasis”, telling Sky News: “If it is possible for people to work from home then we would encourage them to do so.”
Related – ‘Corrupting our constitution’ – Dido Harding’s appointment slammed by former justice secretary