Free COVID-19 workplace testing open to all businesses
All businesses in England can now register for the free COVID-19 workplace testing programme under the government’s roadmap to lifting restrictions.
Rapid testing detects cases quickly in under 30 minutes, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, breaking chains of transmission, the government said.
Businesses have until 31 March to register for the government’s workplace testing scheme, which will remain free until the end of June. All those who can work from home should continue to do so.
The government noted that over 3,500 businesses are signed up to offer workplace testing programmes, and over 14,000 have registered their interest in offering rapid testing, with many already rolling tests out.
“Regular workplace testing is a vital part of our route back to normal life, which is why I’m very pleased that we’re now expanding our offer of free workplace testing to businesses of all sizes, including SMEs,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“These rapid tests will allow positive cases of COVID-19 to be caught quickly, which is crucial in helping businesses protect their workplaces and employees as we cautiously lift restrictions.
“I urge all businesses to register their interest in the programme before 31 March to help break chains of transmission and keep people safe.”
Federation of Small Businesses chairman Mike Cherry said it’s great to see that the smallest businesses can now apply to set-up testing facilities on their premises.
“A workplace testing infrastructure that works for businesses of all sizes as well as consumers is fundamental to bringing the coronavirus under control and ensuring that this current lockdown is the last,” Mr Cherry said.
“It’s vital that they are given all the support they need to do so successfully as they focus on staying afloat in extremely changing circumstances. We’d encourage all small firms that would benefit from a testing facility to apply as swiftly as they can.”
Businesses can learn more about rapid workplace testing by clicking here.