As part of the Government’s roadmap to cautiously lift restrictions, businesses of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 employees, can now register to order free lateral flow tests for their employees.
Businesses have until 31 March to register their interest to access rapid COVID-19 tests for their workplace, which will play a vital role as restrictions ease.
While some businesses may still not be open by 31 March due to lockdown restrictions, it is still important they register their interest by then as the portal will close after that date.
Regular testing will form a crucial part of the Government’s plan to gradually and safely ease restrictions to help restore the economy and get back to a more normal life.
Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus in workplaces without knowing. Rapid testing is targeted at those without symptoms and gives results within half an hour. This means positive cases can be isolated immediately and the chain of transmission can be broken. This could be the difference between a workplace being able to stay open and operational, or needing to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Companies can register for the national scheme by visiting www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests. Businesses will be provided with all the information they need to plan and deliver their testing programme, along with promotional materials.
For those who are not registered companies, such as sole traders, and those unable to offer testing via their workplace, then they can direct workers to access our local asymptomatic testing sites here https://maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk/findatestcenter.html as their business opens up.
North East Lincolnshire Council would still encourage key workers of businesses with less than 50 employees to attend one of the local community testing sites at The Knoll in Cleethorpes, Grimsby Town Hall or Immingham Library if they do not register for rapid workplace testing. Criteria for the use of the testing sites is subject to change as lockdown eases and more businesses re-open. If a business has any queries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Rapid workplace testing will play a vital role across the country, and within North East Lincolnshire, to help us return to a more normal way of life and will help to isolate COVID-19 cases at the earliest opportunity.
“Lateral flow tests offer a much quicker result time than conventional COVID-19 tests because they do not need to be sent off to a laboratory.
“With around one in three people not showing symptoms but still being infectious, these tests will help us to identify coronavirus cases that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”
He added: “It is still important that if anyone has any of the three main symptoms of coronavirus, then they should self-isolate and arrange for a regular test via NHS.UK or by calling 119. Please continue to do your bit to protect yourself and others.”