UK expands virus testing; anyone over 5 with symptoms is now eligible

LONDON: Expanded on Monday to allow anyone over the age of five with COVID-19 to reserve a test to see if they have the virus, it announced.

Hancock also said the government had recruited 21,000 employees to work on its tracking system designed to find those who have had contact with someone who has it.

The expanded testing program and track-and-trace system are key parts of Britain's plan to return to normal after a viral outbreak that has killed more than 40,000 people.

We now have the elements we need to implement our national testing and tracing service: test capacity, traceability and technology. Building that system is incredibly important, Hancock said.

Britain has already eased some of the restrictions implemented eight weeks ago to limit the spread of the virus, but remains on high alert in case the transmission rate starts to rise.

If the number of cases continues to decline, Britain hopes to start reopening schools and other parts of its closed economy in the coming months.