As part of our continued expansion of regular testing, a major new pilot will consider whether daily testing can offer a safe alternative to self-isolation for those who come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, allowing people to carry on going to work and doing the things they love. We appreciate the huge sacrifices that the British public have made at every stage of this global pandemic – including self-isolating when they are asked. That is why we are undertaking a major new study of more than 40,000 people which will consider how rapid daily testing could offer a viable alternative to self-isolation for people who are contacts of positive Covid-19 cases, allowing people to carry on going to work and living their lives. Alongside the phenomenal progress of our vaccination programme and the rollout of regular testing, we are considering every option to safely reclaim our lost freedoms as we recover from the pandemic.
Last week we announced that we have recruited 8,771 new police officers just one year into our drive to deliver 20,000 more officers across England and Wales by 2023. When he was first elected Prime Minister, Boris Johnson made a commitment to the British people that we would recruit more police officers, cut crime and make our streets safer. Just one year into our recruitment programme, we have recruited nearly 9,000 additional officers across England and Wales, meaning we have smashed our first-year target, and are well on track to delivering the extra 20,000 new police officers we promised. We have also announced the latest figures showing the number of doctors and nurses working in our NHS is at a record high - on track to deliver on our promise of 50,000 more nurses in our NHS by 2024. At the last General Election, we promised to deliver 50,000 more nurses for our NHS, so it can continue to provide world-class care into the future. We are delivering on that promise, recruiting 6,300 more doctors and 11,200 more nurses for our NHS over the last year, meaning we are on track to deliver on our manifesto commitment to get 50,000 more nurses working by 2024. In supporting the NHS, we will ensure patients continue to receive the care they deserve as we deliver the life-saving vaccines that will secure our path back to freedom.