A new £5 coronavirus test could see crowds returning to football matches and live gigs within two months.
The pregnancy-style tests produce results within minutes and would allow millions of Brits who return negative results to socialise.
Trials of the development show they picked up more than three in four positive cases, the majority of which are currently being missed.
Accuracy increased to 95% in the most infectious individuals, The Sun reports.
Scientific experts think use of the home tests could slash Covid-19 transmission by 90% and government advisers think the finding paves the way for daily "freedom passes".
Those testing negative in the morning would be allowed to safely return to football matches, concerts, cinemas, busy pubs and other public places. Those who test positive can then self-isolate.
One expert said they would personally be "confident" spending time in a crowd if everyone had been tested and given the all-clear.
Officials have now offered 600,000 tests to 67 towns and cities as a "route out of lockdown".
Millions more will be rolled-out if the pilot scheme in Liverpool to test the whole city proves to be successful.
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Sir John Bell, professor of medicine at Oxford University, said: "These inexpensive, easy to use tests can play a major role in our fight against Covid-19.
"They identify those who are likely to spread the disease and when used systematically in mass testing could reduce transmissions by 90%.
"They will be detecting disease in large numbers of people who have never previously even received a test."
UK coronavirus deaths have passed 50,000 after another 595 were recorded yesterday.
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Freedom passes have been mooted to help the nation get back to some sort of normality.
It is hoped the policy could reopen society and allow football stadiums to open to supporters for the first time since March.
A government source said that alongside the vaccine, on-the-spot checks will "help us to get towards a normal life in spring".
Early results on the Covid jab made by the drug giant Pfizer show it reduces the risk of falling ill by more than 90%.
The UK will have 10 million doses ready for use this year, but regulators cannot approve the drug until safety data from trials is submitted later this month.
Millions of elderly Brits are being urged to get the jab, with one of the country's top doctors revealing his mum is already on standby.
Jonathan Van-Tam said it will be the "most important" vaccination programme for decades.
The deputy chief medical officer said he would be “at the front of the queue” if trials show jabs are safe.
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