From 6 April, businesses in England with 10 or more employees will be able to supply their staff with rapid coronavirus testing kits to use at home, where on-site testing is not possible.
Employers will be able to order the self-test kits online to distribute to their employees with clear instructions about how to take the test — staff complete the home test in the normal way, reporting their results to the NHS using the provided gov.uk address.
Businesses are also being encouraged to register before 12 April to access free lateral flow tests for workplace testing, even if they’re not yet open or are not able to start using the tests straight away — the tests are free until the 30 June, and rapidly detect the virus in 30 minutes. Register to order the lateral flow tests at imagesmag.uk/Workplace-Covid-Tests.
Employers with fewer than 10 people can alternatively access regular testing through the community testing programme, which is now offered by all local authorities in England.
“Rapid testing is a vital part of our roadmap, helping us to cautiously lift restrictions on our economy and society,” explained Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary.
“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.”
“Mass, rapid workplace testing is an essential pillar of the roadmap for reopening, alongside the vaccine rollout,” added Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director for the Confederation of British Industry.
“Having the option for staff to test at home will enable more firms to embrace workplace testing, as not all employers will have the space or facilities to run testing programmes on their premises. The move to home testing reflects ongoing, high quality dialogue between business and government.
“We’d encourage as many firms as possible to register before the 12 April deadline, as part of their broader efforts to keep staff and customers safe.”