The Health Secretary has said that the rapid lateral flow tests are 99% reliable and are “extremely accurate.
The lateral flow tests are being used in schools and across communities and new “real world” research shows there is less than one false positive test for every 1,000.
Matt Hancock said, “This new data further confirms what we know, these rapid tests are extremely accurate and are helping dramatically curb Covid cases. On Monday alone, we conducted over 1.5m tests.
“Around one in three people who have coronavirus never show any symptoms but may still be infectious.
“This means they could be spreading the virus without realising it.
“Rapid testing can help detect asymptomatic cases quickly, preventing the virus from entering schools, colleges or workplaces, and stopping outbreaks before they occur.”
Despite lateral flow tests being 99% accurate which will help combat the spread of the virus, the impact of reopening schools on transmission rates are not yet known.
Professor Andrew Hayward, of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London (UCL), who is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the reopening of schools and shops are “very big steps.”
He told the Times Radio in a personal capacity, that we “don’t really understand what impact they will have on transmission.”
Professor Hayward there are still large “numbers of people” which are still “vulnerable to ending up in hospital and dying.”
He added, “And that’s still going to be the case for a while. Although the vaccines clearly take the extreme out of that, and will stop us getting hundreds of thousands of cases, there’s still possibilities for us to get tens of thousands of hospitalisations and very many deaths if we relax too quickly.”