Prime Minister says mass testing a long way off

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Writer:

Paul Genty

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Mass tests will need to be as simple as pregnancy testing, says Johnson

The Prime Minister has admitted that plans for widespread, fast testing so theatres could reopen without social distancing are not coming any time soon.

Boris Johnson earlier said the measures would hopefully return in time for Christmas, but has since admitted the introduction of mass testing is still “a long way off”.

He told the Commons Liaison Committee that to allow people to sit close together in theatres once more would demand “pregnancy-style” testing – in other words, simple and with instant results

“We are a long way off having those instant, liberating tests. The science is almost there, and as soon as we can do that then you do have the possibility of theatres able to open again.”

The committee members also voiced the need for long-term support of the arts, since the £1.57 billion already announced would not go far or last long.

The Prime Minister responded that he was aware the sector generated around £16 billion a year and is “vital for our prosperity”.

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