The Government is calling on local authorities to target people who – due to the nature of their jobs – are unable to work from home and so far this week 131 of those authorities have signed up to the scheme.
The rapid Covid testing programme will then be expanded to cover all 317 local authorities around the country.
The Government said that testing asymptomatic people will help identify more positive cases of Covid-19 and ensure that those who have been infected self-isolate. This, it said, would help protect those who cannot work from home and the country’s vital services.
BiKBBI chief executive Damian Walters welcomed the rapid testing rollout, saying: “This is a great move that will reduce risk to public health, while facilitating tradespeople and their vital contribution to our economy. These small enterprises play a vital role within their communities and this testing will help control the spread of this awful virus.”
The Government said that NHS Test and Trace would also work closely with other government departments to scale up workforce testing. It said that so far 27,000 tests had been carried out across the public sector and that 15 large employers have already taken up the scheme across 64 sites.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are now expanding this offer to every local authority across the country, and asking testing to be targeted on workers who cannot work from home during this national lockdown, while asking employers to work with us to scale up workforce testing. Lateral flow tests have already been hugely successful in finding positive cases quickly – and every positive case found is helping to stop the spread – so I encourage employers and workers to take this offer up. We must all do all we can to stop the spread of Covid, right now.”
Tradespeople who wish to take advantage of the rapid testing scheme should visit their local authority website to arrange a test.
- Read the full government press release