Health and Science

A 'moonshot,' PM Johnson wants mass testing in Britain by spring

Key Points
  • Johnson told a press conference that he wanted faster, easier tests to be spread across the country so more testing could allow places such as theatres to reopen.
  • He said the scheme would be piloted in northern England from next month.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves as he leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on September 9, 2020, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the House of Commons.
BEN STANSALL | AFP | Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he wanted widespread testing across Britain by the spring to allow people "to lead more normal lives", describing the effort to get to mass testing as a "moonshot".

Johnson told a press conference that he wanted faster, easier tests to be spread across the country so more testing could allow places such as theatres to reopen. He said the scheme would be piloted in northern England from next month.

"Our plan, this moonshot that I'm describing, will require a giant collaborative effort from government, from business, from public health professionals, scientists, logistic experts and many, many more," he said.

"Work is under way now and we will get on at pace until we get there, round the clock. We're hopeful this approach will be widespread by the spring."