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Coronavirus tests now available to anyone over the age of five showing symptoms

Anyone aged five or over who is showing symptoms of coronavirus is now eligible for a test.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock made the announcement in Parliament where he said the government was "expanding eligibility for testing further than ever before".

Previously, people could only apply for a test if they were in the following groups: an essential worker, aged 65 or over with coronavirus symptoms, people who cannot work from home and has coronavirus symptoms and anyone who lives with the groups mentioned.

Mr Hancock's announcement comes hours after it was confirmed that the loss of taste or smell has been added to the list of coronavirus symptoms.

Addressing the new addition, Mr Hancock said: "Throughout this pandemic we’ve said that if you develop a new continuous cough or a fever, then you should immediately self-isolate.

"From today we are including anosmia, which means that if you have lost your sense of smell or are experiencing a change in your normal sense of smell or taste, that can be a symptom of coronavirus, even where the other symptoms are not present," he added.

Anyone who develops loss of taste or smell are advised to start isolating for seven days to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

Others living with the symptomatic person should isolate for 14 days.

Until now, a high temperature and cough have been listed as the symptoms of Covid-19 on the NHS website.

Speaking at a press conference earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said said that the addition of loss of taste or smell to the symptoms list would result in a 2% increase in the amount of cases being picked up.

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