The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a moonshot plan for COVID-free passports which would allow people who test negative return to normal life.
The PM made the announcement at a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday September 9, 2020.
The plan, he said, involves mass testing with results within around 20 minutes, with a negative result allowing entry to venues such as theaters, concerts, or football stadiums among others.
Johnson said, “Up to now, we have used testing primarily to identify people who are positive – so we can isolate them from the community and protect high-risk groups.
“And that will continue to be our priority. We are working hard to increase our testing capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.”
“But in future, in the near future, we want to start using testing to identify people who are negative – who don’t have coronavirus and who are not infectious – so we can allow them to behave in a more normal way, in the knowledge they cannot infect anyone else with the virus,” he added
Johnson continued that “And we think, we hope, we believe that new types of tests which are simple, quick and scalable will become available.
They use swabs or saliva and can turn round results in 90 or even 20 minutes. Crucially, it should be possible to deploy these tests on a far bigger scale than any country has yet achieved – literally millions of tests processed every single day.”
However, the government’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser, who were also at the briefing, sounded less optimistic and more cautious than the prime minister.
The government also announced on Wednesday that across the UK a further 2,659 people tested positive for the virus, bringing the total to 355,219.