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Covid: Liverpool's city-wide coronavirus testing begins

Liverpool has "absolutely nothing to lose" by taking part in the first trial of whole city coronavirus testing in England, the city's mayor has said.

Everyone living or working in Liverpool will be offered repeat tests, whether or not they have symptoms.

Mayor Joe Anderson said the testing pilot could save lives, stop hospitals being overwhelmed and "get the city out of tier three restrictions".

 

The pilot will last for approximately two weeks, the government said.

People will be offered a mix of existing swab tests and new lateral flow tests, which could provide a result in 20 minutes without the need to use a lab.

New test sites have been set up across the city, in schools, universities, work places and care homes.

About 2,000 military personnel are helping deliver the tests.

Liverpool City Region was the first area to be put into the very high alert level of England's three-tier system of Covid-19 restrictions, on 14 October. Since then, cases have fallen.

A national lockdown in England began on Thursday.

The latest figures showed Liverpool recorded 330 cases per 100,000 in the week up to 1 November. The average area in England had 156.

Mr Anderson said Liverpool was involved in tuberculosis screening in 1959 and had always been "pioneers in public health".

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "hugely grateful" to the people of Liverpool for taking part in the pilot.

He said he hoped that "together we can get that great city on top of the virus".

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the pilot "was planned to last for approximately two weeks".

Source: BBC

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