The government has announced that anyone in the UK with symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible to book a test, ahead of the rollout of the test and trace service.
The expansion in testing eligibility comes after all four UK chief medical officers confirmed that anosmia has been added as a symptom of Covid-19. Anosmia is the loss of or a change in normal sense of smell, and it can also affect your sense of taste.
People have been asked to self-isolate immediately if they have a new, continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said all members of the household must also self-isolate according to current guidelines, unless the symptomatic individual receives a negative test result.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock commented: “Following the massive ramping up of our national testing programme, anybody with symptoms of coronavirus in the United Kingdom is now eligible for a test.
“This is a huge step forward in our plan to slow the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and give the peace of mind these tests can bring.
“We will continue to give priority to NHS staff and care home residents and workers in order to protect our most vulnerable.”
The tracing element of the service in England, due to be launched soon, will be supported by 21,000 contact tracers who have now been recruited, and will play a vital role working to reach those who have been in close contact with someone who has developed coronavirus.