UK government says it hit the 100,000 testing target

Hancock also announced that the British death toll had risen by 739 to 27,510 deaths - just below that of Italy which was one of the first and worst-hit European states.

He set the target of 100,000 tests by the end of April after being criticised for moving too slowly on mass testing compared to other countries like Germany.

Since then, the government has increased the number of drive-through testing sites, begun sending out home tests and has rapidly expanded the number of people eligible to apply for a test.

At Friday's news conference, Hancock said 122,347 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to 0800 GMT.

Political opponents the Liberal Democrats immediately accused Hancock of manipulating the data on testing.

Addressing questions over how the number had been collated, testing programme coordinator John Newton said that home testing kits were being included in the number of tests completed at the point they were sent out, not when they were analysed.