Football fans given fresh hope of return to stadia with rapid COVID-19 test

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Fresh hope for fans to return to stadiums across the country has emerged with the UK Government to buy 200 million COVID-19 tests which can return a result in 15 minutes.

Supporters have been absent from professional games in the country since March when Liverpool played Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, and despite initial hopes of a return in October, a rise in cases postponed the move indefinitely.

But a test which can return a result in 15 minutes is to be purchased in bulk by the government in what has been labelled a “freedom pass” out of mass restrictions.

A report from the Telegraph, states that leaked documents show a contract will be awarded next month for a £5 kit which can detect three in four cases of COVID-19 in people without symptoms.

It would see more than 60 million tests secured each month from January onwards, with 192,000 secured by March to help ease the country back towards a level of normality early next year.

The news comes at a time when mass testing centres continue to be rolled out throughout England following its launch in Liverpool this month, with a total of 70 areas to soon have access to the tests.

The tests are ones which, with widespread use, can cut transmission of the virus and government scientists say their findings pave the way for “daily freedom passes.”

NHS staff carry out coronavirus tests at a testing facility in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln (Joe Giddens/PA)

Where a negative test in the morning would see the public allowed to attend football matches, the pub and the theatre, for example.

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford, said: “These inexpensive, easy-to-use tests can play a major role in our fight against Covid-19.

“They identify those who are likely to spread the disease and when used systematically in mass testing could reduce transmissions by 90 per cent.”

It relies heavily on public cooperation to take a test on mass as they are key in finding asymptotic cases and reducing community transmission.

There is seemingly a ways to go as the country continues to battle a second wave, but news of new tests and the recent success of a vaccine provide fresh hopes that the gates can start to open for football fans and for the rest of society.

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