Matt Hancock announces coronavirus test priority list as demand surges – with teachers fifth

The priority list for who will get coronavirus tests first has been revealed ahead of a potential second wave across the UK.

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 10:09 am

People with acute health issues, care home residents and their carers will be first in line for tests under the Government’s rationing plan.

NHS staff and teachers are also priorities, confirmed health secretary Matt Hancock, with members of the public at the back of the line.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hancock told MPs: “We need to prioritise the tests on those who need the most to save lives, protect the most vulnerable and make sure our health and care services and our schools can operate safely. "

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Pedestrians wearing facemasks walks past a sign for a Covid-19 test centre (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

The priority list is as follows:

1) Those working in acute clinical care, or those due to receive it

2) Care home workers and residents

3) NHS staff, including GPs and pharmacists

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock leaves 10 Downing Street. The Government admitted increasing demand for coronavirus tests was posing problems after hospital bosses warned delays in the system were jeopardising healthcare services (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

4) Targeted testing for outbreak management and surveillance studies

5) Teaching staff with symptoms

6) The general public, when they have symptoms, and prioritising those in areas of high incidence

Mr Hancock urged members of the public to get tested only if they have symptoms of coronavirus or have been specifically advised to by a health professional.

A sign advises members of the public that COVID-19 testing is "by appointment only", and suggests they should book a home-testing kit instead (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

"The testing capacity we have is valuable,” he said. “And we must, together, prioritise it for the people who need it the most.”

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