Coronavirus: Farmers can now get a virus test

All farmers in England and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus will now be able to get tested.

Testing has been extended to all essential workers in the country, which includes those involved in food production and processing, as well as vets.

Essential workers can book an appointment on the government’s website, and can then choose to visit one of more than 30 drive-through testing sites, or receive a home testing kit.

But on Friday (24 April), the website was temporarily closed following huge demand. It will now reopen on Saturday (25 April).

See also: #FeedTheNation: Morrisons gives 5% discount to farmer suppliers

The home testing kits will initially be limited, but more will become available.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the extended testing was “part of getting Britain back on her feet”.

Test results from the drive-through sites will be sent out by text within 48 hours, and within 72 hours of collection of the home delivery tests.

The government said most people should have a regional testing site no further than a 45-minute drive, but additional testing methods are being created.

This includes mobile testing units that can reach sites where there is a demand for testing.

The mobile units and the drive-through test sites will send patient samples to laboratories in Milton Keynes, Glasgow and Alderley Park in Cheshire.

Each site will test tens of thousands of patient samples a day.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The government said each of the devolved administrations will have their own eligibility criteria and testing priorities, but it is working to align approaches.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are prioritising testing for NHS staff, but as testing capacity increases, it is expected to be extended to other key workers.

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