Long queues formed in Liverpool on Friday as residents waited for coronavirus tests as a mass testing pilot programme got underway.
Every citizen working or living in Liverpool has been offered free repeat, new rapid turnaround testing for the virus, in an effort that is being driven in a partnership between Liverpool City Council, NHS Test and Trace, and the Ministry of Defence, alongside logistical support from Armed Forces personnel, who have been stationed at the nearby Pontins Southport Holiday Park.
Liverpool, which has one of the highest rate of coronavirus infections and deaths in England, is the first UK city to pilot the whole city testing approach, which was announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson
For some, the prospect of the mass testing pilot scheme brings optimism and hope: «I'm thrilled that Liverpool has been put forward as the mass testing [site]. I hope that everybody gets behind it and it's hope that it's the way out of this mess. We want to get our lives back,» said Collene, a visitor at the COVID-19 testing site at Exhibition Centre Liverpool.
Another woman was supportive of the pilot scheme but complained that information was poor saying «the people who are at the other building don't even know where this is, they don't know whether you can get to it by car, they have no access for disabled people.»
According to the latest government data released on Friday, the UK performed registered 23,287 new daily COVID-19 infections and 355 COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours.