The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced the launch of an an online portal to help businesses secure rapid testing programmes for Covid-19.
In a statement yesterday (12 February) the Department said that the government is aiming to make it easier for businesses in the private sector to find out more about offering rapid testing in the workplace for Covid-19.
The Department for Business advised that businesses which are open open during lockdown can now sign up to rapid testing programmes that identify cases of Covid-19 in employees who are not showing symptoms, to help stop the spread of Covid-19, and ensure vital public and economic services can continue.
[Updated: midday 12 February] new announcement that SMEs with less than 50 employees can also take part (see below)
Eligibility is given as that businesses can register to order coronavirus rapid lateral flow tests for employees if:
- Your business is registered in England
- You employ 50 people or more
- Your employees cannot work from home
SMEs – less than 50 employees
And, on 12 February, the skip hire and waste transfer organisation, UROC, said that after discussions with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Defra had confirmed that businesses with less than 50 employees can take part. Jenny Watts, chief executive of UROC said ” it is now confirmed that the Department for Health and Social Care has conceded the benefits for workplace testing in small businesses and those who employ less than 50 staff can now access the scheme.” The government website is expected to be updated to reflect this soon. Mrs Watts can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Department for Business said: “Testing is key to breaking the chains of transmission. Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. This expansion of testing will find more positive cases, keeping workers who cannot work from home unknowingly passing on the virus and protecting vital public services. For more information, click here.”
And, the Department also, under a “Working Safely” heading, said that guidance for people working “in or from vehicles” has been updated with information on coronavirus tests and vaccinations.