The government will publish details of its plan to prioritise coronavirus tests in the next few days, after widespread problems with the system.
Top of the list will be NHS staff and patients, and those in care homes.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he did “not shirk from decisions” about who should be prioritised.
It comes as the mayor of Greater Manchester – home to England’s highest infection rate – said time was running out to fix the testing system.
“I think we have two or three weeks to fix these things,” mayor Andy Burnham told the BBC’s Newsnight programme. “If we don’t, the worry is we’ll never gain control as we head into autumn and winter.”
Bolton NHS Trust in Greater Manchester said on Tuesday that a