A 20-minute coronavirus test is being tested, said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The new swab test – which would show if someone currently has the virus – does not need to be sent to a laboratory.
Hancock also said more than 10 million antibody tests – which check to see if anyone has had the virus in the past – will start rolling out next week.
This occurs when the PM decided to abolish user fees from the NHS for health care workers and health care workers abroad.
Non-EU migrants currently pay the health immigration surcharge, which is £ 400 a year and is expected to rise to £ 624 in October.
But after mounting pressure from MPs, Boris Johnson decided that foreign NHS staff and social workers should be exempt.
The number of people who have died after testing positive for the virus has now reached 36,042, an increase from 338, the government said on Thursday.
There are currently two types of tests for coronavrius.
Swab tests are already available for all adults and children over the age of five on the NHS. They involve taking a swab from the nose or back of the throat and indicating whether a person currently has Covid-19.
The antibody test is a blood test that checks your blood for antibodies to see if someone has had the virus. Antibodies are made by our immune system, which learns to fight an infection.
The new swab tests will be tested in Hampshire in selected A&E departments, GP test centers and nursing homes. The trial will last six weeks and test up to 4,000 people.
Speaking at the Downing Street briefing, Matt Hancock said the new swab test “is interesting to us because it is so fast,” adding, “You get the result right away.”
“We want to know if it will be effective on a larger scale. If it works, we will deploy it as soon as possible. “
He also spoke of the antibody tests, saying the government had reached an agreement to supply 10 million to the NHS. They will begin deployment to the NHS next week.
“We have signed contracts to supply more than 10 million Roche and Abbott tests in the coming months,” he said.
“Starting next week, we will begin to gradually deploy them, initially with health and care staff, patients and residents.
He said the UK government’s deal will cover all devolved countries, and each will decide “how to use its test allocation and how tests will be prioritized and managed locally”.
These are two important announcements when it comes to testing.
Trying a new swab test on the spot to see if someone has an infection has the potential to make a huge difference.
Currently, samples must be sent to a laboratory and take several hours to be processed. This left a few people waiting days for their test results.
If the process can be speeded up, this will be a major benefit, not only for the testing program, but also for tracking and tracing.
The faster you can identify positive cases, the more effective you can be at containing the spread.
The development of the antibody test does not have the potential to have such an immediate impact.
We still don’t know how strong the antibody response and therefore the potential for long-term immunity.
So the logic in offering it to health care workers is to help this research.
They will not suddenly reject their PPE at work.
Instead, officials will monitor whether those with antibodies are less at risk of re-infection.
Having antibodies doesn’t automatically mean you can’t get sick or harbor the virus and spread it to others, according to BBC correspondent James Gallagher.
The World Health Organization says there is no evidence that those who have antibodies are protected from a new infection.
Hancock said the tests will help scientists understand whether people with antibodies “are less likely to get a coronavirus, die from a coronavirus and transmit a coronavirus.”
Knowing more about antibody testing would help develop “certification systems” to tell people with antibodies “what they can do safely,” he added.
Hancock also said that a study suggests that 17% of Londoners and about 5% of the rest of the country have anti-virus antibodies.
Hancock said at the briefing “we don’t know if we will ever have” a vaccine, but said he hoped everyone would have it if one was developed.
“We are doing everything we can to get a vaccine and we will only recommend a vaccine if it is safe,” he said.
“It means that if we get a vaccine – and I really hope we do and that we work incredibly hard for it – and people are invited to take this vaccine, then they should absolutely do it because we won’t only on the basis of clinical advice that it is safe.
“The question of whether it is mandatory is not an issue that we have addressed yet, we still have time before a vaccine is available.
“But I hope, given the scale of this crisis and the overwhelming need for us to get through this and get the country back on its feet, and the very positive impact that a vaccine would have, that everyone would have the vaccine . “