THE WELSH Government has said it will not be following in the footsteps of the UK Government in making rapid testing available for all adults.

Today, Monday, April 5, the UK Government announced that from Friday, April 9, all adults will be able to have twice-weekly rapid testing for coronavirus.

But a spokeswoman for the Welsh Government said: “Our revised Testing Strategy sets out how we are supporting regular asymptomatic testing.

"We are already providing access to more than 22 per cent of our total population to regular testing and this continues to grow with the expansion of our workplace and community testing programmes.”

What is the current policy for testing in Wales?

In November and December, there was an asymptomatic testing pilot in Merthyr and Lower Cynon which was found to have been effective and had a positive impact on the level of Covid-19 circulating.

Since the beginning of March, there has been community testing in parts of Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf. There are also regular tests for people who are unable to work from home, particularly in close contact services like taxi drivers, hairdressers and retail workers.

Some pupils in Wales will also be given twice-weekly rapid testing.

Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19 is able to get a test.

What is the new policy for testing in England?

From Friday, April 9, everyone in England will have access to a free and rapid Covid-19 test twice a week,

They will be available to anyone regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. Until now, this testing for asymptomatic people has only been available to those most at risk and people who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers.

The tests will be available through a home ordering service, workplace or school testing programme or by collecting one at a local test site.

Anyone over the age of 18 without symptoms will be able to make use of a pharmacy collect service which will allow them to visit a participating chemist and collect a box of seven rapid tests to use twice a week at home.


Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “As we continue to make good progress on our vaccine programme and with our road map to cautiously easing restrictions underway, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted.”

Health secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “Around one in three people who have Covid-19 show no symptoms, and as we reopen society and resume parts of life we have all dearly missed, regular rapid testing is going to be fundamental in helping us quickly spot positive cases and squash any outbreaks.

“The vaccine programme has been a shot in the arm for the whole country but reclaiming our lost freedoms and getting back to normal hinges on us all getting tested regularly.

“The British public have shown over the last year that they quickly adapt and always do what is right in the interest of public health, and I know they will do their bit by getting tested regularly in the months ahead.”

NHS Covid-19 app

The NHS Covid-19 app will be updated on Thursday, April 8, in England and Wales. In the new update, everyone in a group will be required to check-in when entering a hospitality venue, rather than just one person.

It will also require users who test positive to share their venue history in a “privacy-protecting way.”

Anyone who has been at a venue on the same day as several others who have since tested positive for Covid-19 will receive an alert advising them to book a test immediately, regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.