By testing regularly, health officials hope to be able to quickly identify areas with rising infection rates and take appropriate action to stop further transmissions. Experts believe that this could make lockdowns a thing of the past. An advertising campaign to encourage people to play their part will soon be launched by Number 10.
The Prime Minister has faced renewed calls to end coronavirus restrictions earlier than promised in his roadmap by an independent think tank.
The Institute of Economic Affairs argued that the success of the vaccine rollout programme meant there was now “a strong case” to accelerate the easing of lockdown.
Christopher Snowdon said: ‘Even if the vaccination programme slows down next month, we are in a far better place than anybody expected in January.
“There is a strong case for bringing the roadmap forward by four weeks.”
The Prime Minister is also under pressure from backbenchers to resist imposing a blanket overseas travel ban, in light of rising Covid cases in Europe.
Leading scientists have issued warnings about the risks of overseas holidays, as many countries across Europe face another lockdown due to rising infection rates.
READ MORE: Jab pressure mounts on Britain as ministers call for home production
“If you look in Europe, and the increases in infections, we can’t put at risk the huge amount of effort, by the taxpayer, by the NHS, by our scientists, in developing this vaccine.”
He added: “And if we were to be reckless in any way, and import new variants that put it at risk, then what would people say about that?
“We’ve got good direction of travel, we’re getting there, and I think we need to make sure we preserve that at all costs.”