The government is to make screening for chlamydia available in high-street pharmacies across the country.
Public health minister, Melanie Johnson, said independent healthcare providers are being asked to submit bids to pilot a scheme in community pharmacies throughout London and Cornwall.
Successful applicants will provide free chlamydia screening for 16-24 year olds, plus partners of those who test positive.
Patients may also be given the choice of receiving treatment at their local pharmacy.
Johnson said: “By offering this service in convenient locations on the high street, it will make it easier for people to call in for a screening test – helping to speed up the detection and treatment of chlamydia cases.”
The pilots will be evaluated over a two-year period and, if deemed successful, could then be rolled out nationally.
Chlamydia testing and screening is currently available in 26 areas of England under the National Chlamydia Screening Programme, in a variety of healthcare and non-healthcare settings, including further education colleges, armed forces bases and prisons.