RAPID-result workplace testing will be made more widely available to weed out staff not showing Covid symptoms.
Quick turnaround kits that produce results within 30 minutes will be given to firms with more than fifty employees.
Rapid Covid testing will be made more widely available for workplacesCredit: Reuters
Companies with more than 250-staff previously qualified for the regime but will now apply to small and medium-sized businesses.
The move will help ensure the safety of those who can’t work from home but may be carrying Covid-19.
One in three people show no symptoms but are unknowingly carrying the virus.
More than 100 organisations took up the regime across almost 500 sites who backed the rapid testing to make the workplace safer.
Police, firefighters, Border Force staff and civil servants are among those who have already taken part in the scheme.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “To save lives and protect the NHS, we have again asked for everyone to work from home.
“But we know that for some this is not possible, which is why the workplace rapid testing programme is so important.
“Employers should regularly test their staff, and this drive across Government to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to introduce rapid testing for employees is incredibly important.
“When you consider that around one in three people have the virus without symptoms and could potentially infect people without even knowing it, it becomes clear why focusing testing on those without symptoms is so essential.
“We are already working with many employers to scale up workforce testing, spanning the food industry, retail sector, transport network, and across the public sector too.
“I strongly urge businesses and employees across the country to take up this offer of rapid testing to help stop this virus spreading further.”
Transport for London staff have used 2,173 tests and identified 28 positive tests who would have otherwise worked amongst colleagues.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We want to be able to reopen the economy and recover our way of life as soon as it is safe to do so, and large-scale workplace testing will complement our work in getting the British people vaccinated.”
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