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New labs will more than double UK Covid testing capacity in 2021

Facilities will allow 600,000 more PCR tests a day to be processsed, in sign end of pandemic is still months away

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Covid-19 testing capacity in the UK is to be more than doubled, with major new laboratories to open early next year in a sign the government is planning for the pandemic to persist despite hopes for a number of vaccine candidates.

The facilities, one in Leamington Spa and the other in an unidentified location in Scotland, will employ up to 4,000 people and increase the number of PCR tests – the gold-standard swab tests already used across the UK – that can be processed daily by 600,000, from 520,000 today.

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