Hertfordshire is set to begin quick turnaround coronavirus tests next week and will be prioritsed for those who are “most vulnerable”.

An initial batch of up to 10,000 tests are expected to arrive by Friday, with the rollout set to begin next Monday, Hertfordshire Director of Public Health Jim McManus said.

Around 100,000 of the tests are expected to arrive in the county in the near future.

In a Covid-19 briefing this morning (Novemebr 18), Mr McManus said that those at “our sharpest and most vulnerable end” will be prioritised for the tests.

This will include those moving within care settings, children waiting on foster care places and unaccompanied child migrants.

Mr McManus said: “We have prioritised them (the tests) for transfers of care. So where we need to get people out of hospital, understandably because of the demands the NHS is facing, to get people back into care homes or back to home or transfer between care homes.

“So that’s the first set of priorities. The next set of priorities will be to enable children waiting on foster care places to go to those foster care places.

“The third priority will be unaccompanied child migrants. So we are very much prioritising some of the people at our sharpest and most vulnerable end."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said mass testing will be rolled out to 66 local authorities in England last week.

Mr Hancock says the 66 authorities, which includes Hertfordshire, had already expressed an interest in the tests and he was expecting more to sign up.

Mr McManus said a “very measured” approach would be taken when rolling out the tests in the county.

“We’d rather have the test system working as well as possible and as accurate, rather than have a whole load of tests out there that create challenges for people,” he said.

Mr McManus added that separate NHS staff testing will be rolled out and the supplies "are going straight to the NHS through NHS logistics and they are expected to arrive imminently".

He also said work is still underway to test university students ahead of them returning home for Christmas.