UK Government plans to spend 100bn pounds on expanding testing to 10 million a day

11 Sep 2020

The UK government has drafted plans to carry out up to 10 million covid-19 tests a day by beginning next year as part of a major £100bn expansion of its national testing program, documents seen by The BMJ reveal.


The internal correspondence shows that the government is prepared to invest almost everything it spends on the NHS in England each year (£130bn) to fund mass population research under its ambitious Operation Moonshot initiative "to promote economic growth and a return to normal life."


A briefing memo sent to the first minister and cabinet secretaries in Scotland, viewed by The BMJ, says the UK-wide Moonshot program is estimated to "cost more than £100bn to implement." If completed, the program will enable the entire UK population to be tested every week.