Press release: Asymptomatic testing to be rolled out across the country starting this week

Local authorities will be encouraged to target testing to people who cannot work from home during lockdown. Around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus (COVID-19) without displaying any symptoms. Rapid, regular testing for people without symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be made available across the country from this week, with the eligibility of the community testing programme expanded to cover all 314 lower-tier local authorities.Local authorities will be encouraged to target testing at people who are unable to work from home during the national lockdown.Expansion of asymptomatic testing will identify more positive cases of COVID-19 and ensure those infected isolate, protecting those who cannot work from home and…

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Press release: £148 million to cut drugs crime

Today (20 January 2021) the Home Secretary Priti Patel and Health Secretary Matt Hancock announce a 148 million new investment to cut crime and protect people from the scourge of illegal drugs.The 148 million package takes a system-wide approach to the problem of illegal drugs. It gives extra resources to law enforcement to dismantle organised criminal gangs and tackle the supply of drugs. At the same time, it delivers more money for drug treatment and recovery to help cut drug-related crime and the cycle of misuse and reoffending. It represents the largest increase in drug treatment funding for 15 years.Building on recent successes in tackling county lines gangs,…

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Press release: Supply chain workers crucial to vaccination programme to receive jabs

Move aims to protect continuity of the supply chain to help ensure flow of COVID vaccines for most vulnerable Crucial workers in roles such as manufacturing, fill and finish and batch testing will be offered vaccines Up to 2,000 people working in roles crucial to the continuity of the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain will be offered jabs to help ensure the UK gets the doses it needs to protect the most vulnerable, the government has announced.Highly trained workers who have been identified by the government as being irreplaceable and crucial to the delivery of vaccine supplies will be offered vaccines.This will reduce the risk of an outbreak that…

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Guidance: Test to Release for international travel: minimum standards for testing

Published 24 November 2020 Last updated 19 January 2021 +show all updates 19 January 2021 Added 'including Madeira and the Azores' to the Portugal listing. 19 January 2021 Updated to add the list of countries not eligible for Test to Release. 16 December 2020 Added clarification for providers of test to release on when tests can be provided and administered (section 10: 'Date tests can be provided or administered'). 14 December 2020 Updated guidance to add ISO 15189 under '9. For point of care testing' and to reflect that the 14-day isolation period is now 10 days. 25 November 2020 Added link to request to be added to…

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Press release: More than 4 million people receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in UK

Significant milestone as more than 4 million people receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine More than half of those aged 80 and over have been vaccinatedMore than 4 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the largest vaccination programme in British history.The NHS vaccinated a total of 4.06 million people between 8 December and 17 January, including more than half of those aged 80 and over and more than half of elderly care home residents.This is more than double the number of vaccinations, per person per day, than any European country and is a significant step towards hitting…

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Press release: Social care sector to receive £269 million to boost staffing levels and testing

New 120 million fund for local authorities to boost staffing levels 149 million grant system to support increased testing in care homesThe impact of the new variant is being felt across the country, with staff absence rates rising sharply both in care homes and among home care staff, due to testing positive or having to self-isolate.The funding announced today will protect and support the social care sector, including care homes and domiciliary care providers, by increasing workforce capacity and increasing testing.The vital infection prevention and control guidance on staff movement in care homes is also being reinforced, with a reminder to providers to continue following the rules and…

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Press release: Armed Forces to set up vaccine sites in Scotland

Organised into 11 Vaccination Centre Setup Teams spread across Scotland, the soldiers remit is to support the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and local authorities in operationalising vaccination centre sites. They will use their logistical, organisational and clinical expertise to establish the vaccine centres, before handing them over to NHS Scotland to deliver their vaccination programme.Involving personnel from the Royal Army Medical Corps, the military team from Fife will survey suggested sites for suitability, then organise car parking and traffic flow systems, establish patient recording methods and practices, facilitate vaccine delivery to the sites, prepare storage for medicines and equipment, and conduct a smooth handover to NHS Scotland.Defence Secretary…

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Press release: COVID-19 vaccines rolled out to people aged 70 years and over from today

Move allows the NHS to further accelerate vaccinations of people most at risk Priority remains to vaccinate top 2 cohorts first, while over 3.8 million people have received their first vaccine dose in the UKMillions of people aged 70 and over and those clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will be invited to get their vaccinations from today (Monday 18 January) as the NHS begins roll out of the vaccines to the next 2 priority groups.The NHS has so far been working to vaccinate the first 2 priority cohorts recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which are care home residents and staff, and those aged…

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Press release: Social care to receive £269 million to boost staff levels and testing

The impact of the new variant is being felt across the country, with staff absence rates rising sharply both in care homes and among home care staff, due to testing positive or having to self-isolate.The funding announced today will protect and support the social care sector, including care homes and domiciliary care providers, by increasing workforce capacity and increasing testing.The vital infection prevention and control guidance on staff movement in care homes is also being reinforced, with a reminder to providers to continue following the rules and keep staff and residents safe.The new 120 million funding will help local authorities to boost staffing levels, a direct ask of…

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Press release: Social care sector to receive £269 million to boost staffing levels and testing

New 120million fund for local authorities to boost staffing levels 149million grant system to support increased testing in care homesThe impact of the new variant is being felt across the country, with staff absence rates rising sharply both in care homes and among home care staff, due to testing positive or having to self-isolate.The funding announced today will protect and support the social care sector, including care homes and domiciliary care providers, by increasing workforce capacity and increasing testing.The vital infection prevention and control guidance on staff movement in care homes is also being reinforced, with a reminder to providers to continue following the rules and keep staff…

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