Britain was advised to avoid offering coronavirus tests for the general public and can now take a different strategy for successful countries like Germany.
If taken over by ministers, it means that millions of Britons are out of work, despite not having Covid-19 during the long-awaited exit strategy.
Until now, mass community testing was seen as the benchmark strategy to be pursued, as the UK increases the laboratory's capacity.
However, a key team of infection modellers London Imperial College claim routine screening, only caregivers will be equally effective.
He published findings predicting a scenario in which members of the public who report symptoms, possibly in a new application, have Covid-19.
This individual's recent contacts would be tracked and ordered to isolate themselves as a precaution.
I would see the UK again go its own way in dealing with the outbreak.
The Imperial MRC Center for Global Analysis of Infectious Diseases is Britain's most influential Covid-19 team advising the Government.
His estimate of 260,000 deaths fell behind the prime minister Boris Johnson U-turn to start the complete block.
Other countries have decided to speed up testing to screen the general public for Covid-19 and then use these results to track and isolate those who have come in contact with anyone who is positive.
Mass entry and exit tests have kept death rates extremely low in countries like Germany, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore.
In Germany, anyone can get tested even with mild symptoms, as long as indicated by a doctor.
The new findings suggest that testing in the UK may be restricted to seven million key workers if they or their family members show symptoms.
This includes NHS employees, healthcare professionals, hospital cleaning products, supermarket employees and delivery drivers.
Of these health and care professionals, they could be tested more regularly, even if they had no symptoms.
Imperial author Nicholas Grassly said: “We think the tests are most useful when targeting high-risk groups, such as health care and home care.
"Regular screening, in addition to testing symptomatic individuals, can prevent an additional 25% to 33% of your contribution to transmission in the hospital and in the community."
Weekly tests by the NHS team working in intensive care, infectious diseases and respiratory medicine – even if they have no symptoms – would require only 5,000 tests a day
The article concluded: “It is unlikely that generalized CRP testing in the general population will limit transmission more than contact tracking and quarantine based on symptoms only, but may allow early release of contacts from quarantine.
"The tests are essential for pandemic surveillance, but it is likely that their direct contribution to preventing transmission will be limited to patients, healthcare professionals and other high-risk groups."
The findings will lead to fears that Britain may adopt a different strategy because it has failed to increase its testing capacity.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted that the country started from "a low base" by promising 100,000 daily tests by the end of the month. The UK is still testing just over 20,000 a day.
MRC Center chief Prof Neil Ferguson previously admitted to MPs that a controversial decision to abandon community testing, screening and screening on March 12 was informed by the fact that Public Health England does not have sufficient laboratory capacity.
The United Kingdom was one of the countries out of control with its previous "herd immunity" strategy when it postponed the blockade after ministers assumed widespread infections were inevitable.
That was before the MRC Center published a bombastic article that predicted that, without the blockade, we would have 260,000 deaths and see the NHS overloaded.
His latest discoveries were made after the government finally put testing back at the center of its virus strategy, after offering tests to key symptomatic workers and their families.
The government has now started recruiting 18,000 people – including 3,000 clinicians and at least 10,000 call center employees – to conduct contact tracking in the future.
A Doctors in Unite spokesman said: “The government has acted very slowly to change the fate of more than 18,000 people who have died.
“With every wrongdoing and every false promise, an irreversible choice was made.
“When China, Italy and France were stalling, our government should have known what needed to be done. But they waited.