HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that a 20-minute coronavirus test that does not need to be sent to a lab could soon be rolled out for trials.

The test is being trialled in Hampshire from tomorrow.

Mr Hancock was speaking at today’s UK government daily coronavirus briefing, where he said that the new swab test – which will quickly tell a person who takes the test if they are positive – could be ready in months.

He urged caution on the tests however, and said more research needed to take place, with a smaller scale trial beginning soon to “monitor its effectiveness”.

“If it works, we will roll it out as soon as we can,” he said.

He also confirmed that the government has negotiated a deal with Roche and Abbott that will lead to 10 million antibody tests being available across the UK, with NHS and care staff being prioritised.

According to studies in the trial period for the antibody tests, 17 per cent of people in London may have had antibodies for coronavirus, while the figure is thought to be around five per cent elsewhere in the UK.

Mr Hancock said the government is not yet in a position to say that if you have had coronavirus you are then immune.

Flanked by professors Chris Whitty and John Newton, Mr Hancock also confirmed that on Mental Health Awareness Week, £4.2m in funding will be given to mental health charities including the Samaritans and Young Minds.