The testing of front line NHS staff to determine whether they have or have had coronavirus will start next week.
The move was announced at a UK Government press briefing and is set to apply across the country.
Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood is expected to release a statement shortly.
Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “From an NHS perspective, we think it is urgently important that we are able to test front line workers who are off sick or otherwise isolating.
“That’s why the work that Public Health England has been leading is so important because it means we are going to be able to double this time next week the number of tests we have been doing this week.
“I can say that today we will be rolling out staff testing across the NHS, starting next week with the critical care nurses, other staff in intensive care, emergency departments, ambulance services, GPs.
“As testing volumes continue to increase, we want to widen that to essential public service workers, as well as our social care workers, and continue with patient testing that is so vital.”