Up to 10 million key workers and their households can now arrange a coronavirus test either online or through their employer. The initiative will allow all essential workers in England to register for tests on the government's website, if they or a family member have virus symptoms.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock noted how the expansion of the testing programme was "part of getting Britain back on her feet". .Thursday's figures showed 23,560 tests were carried out, though Mr Hancock stated that the capacity had increased to 51,000 per day. The data also showed a further 616 people died with the virus in UK hospitals, bringing the total number of deaths to 18,738.
Read our article: 'Covid-19- The virus holding a mirror up to our society' HERE
Those who can now register for a test include NHS and social care workers, police officers, teachers, those in the justice system, supermarket and food production workers, journalists and transport workers. Previously, a smaller group of key workers - those whose work is deemed critical to the Covid-19 response - were eligible for testing.