Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Boris Johnson

Everyone in England is to be given access to two rapid coronavirus tests a week from Friday, under an extension of the government’s testing programme.

The lateral flow kits, which can provide results in around 30 minutes, will be available for free at testing sites, pharmacies and through the post.

The health secretary said it would help squash any outbreaks as lockdown eases.

But critics of the programme say it risks becoming a “scandalous” waste of money.

It comes as Boris Johnson is due to meet the cabinet to sign off the next stage of lockdown easing in England, which will see non-essential shops reopen and pubs and restaurants start serving outdoors from 12 April.

Later, the prime minister will hold a Downing Street briefing, where he is expected to confirm countries will be graded under a traffic light system when international leisure travel resumes.

BBC