Last reviewed 22 February 2021

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS Test and Trace has maintained its strong start to the year, reaching more than 270,000 people in the latest reporting week with over 2.9 million people tested.

People are now able to receive a test result more quickly and conveniently, the Department went on, with the median distance that they will have travelled for a test being just 1.9 miles, a record for the service compared with 5.1 miles as recently as September 2020.

Of those who took their tests in-person at either a local or regional test centre or mobile testing unit, nearly all (96.1%) received their results the following day, while the median turnaround time for home test kits was 35 hours.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “This week NHS Test and Trace has reached 86.9% of positive cases and 93.6% of contacts of those cases, leading to 270,865 people being told to isolate. Week after week these results continue to have a significant impact and, through the service’s consistent performances, we are seeing that our efforts are helping to halt the spread of the virus”.

Since NHS Test and Trace launched, he highlighted, 90.0% of close contacts for whom communication details were provided have been reached.

The NHS Covid-19 app has now been updated with the capability to alert users in postcode district areas where there is a variant of concern. This provides additional messaging to users, such as their eligibility for surge testing, and where to find more information.

See https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/nhs-covid-19 for full details of the app.