Every person in Scotland will be able to get tested for Covid-19 twice a week as lockdown continues to ease.
The First Minister announced the programme, mirroring a similar initiative in England, at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh.
The system will use lateral flow tests – which give results within 30 minutes – and more detail will be provided by the Scottish Government later this week.
Nicola Sturgeon said: “This testing will be in addition to and will supplement the additional testing routes that are in place in priority areas.”
She added: “This more universal approach to asymptomatic testing will allow us to assess the impact that might have on further suppressing transmission.”
Scottish Liberal Democrats Leader Willie Rennie called on the Scottish Government to end the half-hearted commitment to widespread use of testing.
He said: “The pandemic has put Scotland under huge pressure for too long, but it didn’t need to be this way. Had the First Minister not dismissed my calls to ramp up asymptomatic testing, countless cases could have been avoided.
“While it is right that Nicola Sturgeon has finally listened, it is desperately frustrating that the commitment from the government is half-hearted. Nicola Sturgeon should be embarrassed that it has taken an intervention from Boris Johnson to force her to act.
“These tests need to be available for routine testing in workplaces like police stations, supermarkets and factories rather than just community testing facilities which have been underused.”
Meanwhile, the First Minister confirmed “virtually all” secondary school pupils will return to class full-time after the Easter holidays.
Only those who are shielding will have to wait longer until they can resume face-to-face lessons.
The latest easing of lockdown restrictions means most pupils will soon be back at school – nearly four months after they shut down at Christmas as Covid-19 case numbers soared.
Scotland’s primary pupils returned to class full-time in stages during February and March, while most high-school students were seeing teachers in-person on a part-time basis.
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