The Government has announced that all employers with over ten workers can access home test kits as part of an expansion of the workplace coronavirus testing programme.
Over 60,000 businesses have already registered for the scheme, which had previously been limited to businesses with 50 employees or more. From 6th April, home test kits will begin to be dispatched to companies who are unable to operate on-site testing. Businesses should register their interest by 12th April to take part in the programme.
The workplace testing programme uses lateral flow tests (LFD) to rapidly detect the virus in 30 minutes. Swift detection of cases means those who test positive can isolate immediately and, in doing so, break chains of transmission and suppress the virus. Home test kits will be distributed to the workforce by employers, and have instructions for workers to administer the tests themselves, the results of which can be reported to the NHS online. Those testing positive should advise their employer, and secure a more accurate PCR test from an NHS testing site to confirm the result.
Businesses can register for the government scheme online here.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Rapid testing is a vital part of our roadmap, helping us to cautiously lift restrictions on our economy and society.
“Around one in three people with coronavirus do not have any symptoms, so extending employee testing from the workplace to the home will help us identify more cases we otherwise wouldn’t find, prevent further transmission and save lives.
“60,000 businesses across the country have already registered for free, regular and rapid tests and I encourage many more to take up the offer, helping to keep their employees and their families safe.”
The workplace testing programme will run at least until the end of June.
In addition to the government’s programme, Stockport Council also recently expanded its workplace testing programme with the launch of its mobile testing units that will operate twice-weekly on industrial estates and business parks throughout the borough: a timetable for the service is available here.