Liverpool leaders send letter to residents thanking support for mass testing

Mass testing began in Liverpool two weeks ago with new testing centres being opened across the city. Credit: PA

Two weeks after the mass testing pilot in Liverpool began, civic leaders, scientists, NHS bosses and key figures from sport and business have said a joint thank you to people in the city.

Yesterday 140,000 people in Liverpool had had a coronavirus test with over 700 asymptomatic cases being picked up - which leaders say would not have happened without people taking part in the pilot.

NHS bosses have said that without these tests taking place people could have unknowingly spread the virus.

The pilot is also trialling a new rapid turnaround 'lateral flow' test which can give a result within an hour - 24% of positive tests in Liverpool in the last week have been found by this test.

Someone getting a lateral flow test in Liverpool as part of the mass testing pilot. Credit: PA

The letter said: "The city agreed to work with central Government on this pilot programme to achieve these immediate impacts whilst also paving the way for safely releasing people sooner from unnecessary quarantine, which also damages public health and the economy."This is a pilot. There is no blueprint to follow. The guidebook is being written as we progress. Mistakes will be made. And the learning will be made at a local and national level.

"But the risk of doing nothing is not worth contemplating. Our hospitals’ intensive care beds have been almost full since late September. NHS staff have been at breaking point.

"More than 20,000 people work in our hospitals. Frequent testing allows them to get into work to look after our friends and family.

"Our £3bn a year tourism and hospitality economy, employing almost 40,000 people, is crumbling. Covid-19 has put that sector on pause – and raised the spectre of a deeply damaging decade to come."

It added: "Our message is simple. Get tested. And get tested again. This is you the people of Liverpool looking after yourself and each other, as one."

The letter has been signed by Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, as well as by officials from the city's universities, emergency services and the chief executives of both Everton and Liverpool football clubs.

Read more: