As of this morning – Monday April 20 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 120,067 with 16,060 deaths.

Access to testing for those with symptoms of coronavirus will be extended across England to include additional frontline workers and symptomatic members of their family or household to allow the key worker to return to work.

The move follows the launch of the government’s partnership with universities, research institutes and companies to begin rollout of the network of new Lighthouse Labs and drive-through testing sites across the UK.

This network is providing thousands more polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests – which are used to identify if someone currently has the virus – for frontline workers, which will allow those who test negative for the coronavirus to return to work as soon as possible.

The full list of eligible workers now includes:

  • All NHS and social care staff, including hospital, community and primary care, and staff providing support to frontline NHS services (e.g. accommodation, catering) and voluntary workers
  • Police, fire and rescue services
  • Local authority staff, including those working with vulnerable children, adults and victims of domestic abuse, and those working with the homeless and rough sleepers
  • Defence, prisons and probation staff; and judiciary
  • Frontline benefits workers

“We have built up capacity in the system with new testing and diagnostic facilities backed by Britain’s world-class scientists and industry partners. This means we are now able to give even more workers who support and protect us the ability to know if they have coronavirus if they have been demonstrating symptoms,” said health secretary Matt Hancock.

“Testing is key in our battle against coronavirus and we will continue to prioritise patients, NHS and social care workers but we now have the ability to provide more people with the certainty they need to get back to the front line when it is safe to do so.”


Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.


Maintain at least two metres (six feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.


Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home).