More businesses sign up to COVID rapid testing to protect employees
Businesses and public sector organisations are joining a government scheme to test workers without symptoms who cannot work from home.
The government said its departments are working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace to support businesses and public sector bodies to implement rapid testing, including organisations operating in the food, manufacturing, energy and retail sectors, and within the public sector including job centres, transport networks, and the military.
Rapid testing in the workplace, using lateral flow tests, aims to help protect those at highest risk and provide vital information to help inform further rollout of the rapid testing technology in future, the government said.
It also added that an estimated 734,600 lateral flow tests have been distributed across the public and private sector so far, helping workers who need to leave home for work during lockdown to continue to do so, whilst quickly identifying those who may be carrying the virus.
“With around one in three people not showing symptoms, testing those without symptoms is vital to breaking chains of transmission,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“By offering rapid testing in the workplace, we are offering additional peace of mind to those who are unable to work from home during the current lockdown.
“Lateral flow tests have already been hugely successful in finding positive cases we would not otherwise find and I encourage employers and workers to take this offer up to help protect essential services and businesses.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said keeping workers safe is absolutely crucial and businesses have been working incredibly hard to prioritise the health of their staff and customers during this difficult time.
“I am pleased so many businesses have taken up the opportunity of rapid workplace testing. I would encourage even more to do so and to continue to follow our COVID-secure guidance as we pull together to protect our NHS and save lives,” Mr Kwarteng said.