Britain’s test-and-trace scheme shows that most people who catch Covid-19 in the country do so through house-to-house transmission, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

He noted that relatively few people catch the virus at work, which is why the UK is unlikely to follow France in ordering people to wear face coverings, he explained on Wednesday.

“We are not currently considering doing that,” Hancock told BBC TV. “The reason is that the evidence from NHS Test and Trace for where people catch the disease is that, very largely, they catch it from one household meeting another household, usually in one of their homes.”

To help curb the spread “ahead of winter,” the coronavirus infection survey will increase from regularly testing 28,000 people per fortnight in England to 150,000, according to the health secretary. The expansion will take place by October, while the survey will be extended to cover Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The government is developing capacity to test for coronavirus “on an unprecedented scale… undertaking one of the biggest expansions of surveillance testing we have ever seen,” Hancock added.

Meanwhile, Heathrow Airport has unveiled a new coronavirus testing facility which could lead to the end of the mandatory 14-day quarantine for passengers returning from certain countries.

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