As we move towards March 29 and the first easing of restrictions, we look forward to taking these next steps safely. However, as we get to that point, business leaders must plan ahead in order to create safe working environments that will help stop the spread of the virus.
At the time of writing, over 25 million people in the UK have received their first vaccination, which shows huge progress already. While the vaccine does offer us long-term protection, it can’t do everything that is needed on its own. Workplace testing offers us a way forward now, so it is important that business owners act soon.
For free testing until the end of June, register your business before April 12. Simply follow this link. This is open to businesses that aren’t open yet and now includes those with fewer than 50 employees.
The critical role of regular rapid workplace testing
If we are to stop the spread of the virus, we must break the chains of transmission. Millions of people are already using regular rapid testing to help protect those around them. If you are someone that needs to leave the house to go to work, then regular rapid testing is available to you. With access to regular testing, workplaces will become safer for employees and businesses will be protected. That is why you, as a business leader, must play your part. Testing will make your business more resilient, as it allows cases to be caught early before they spread, impacting the health and wellbeing of your workforce.
Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms or don’t realise they’re infected and are therefore unlikely to get tested or self-isolate. This means they can spread the virus around workplaces without knowing it. Regular testing is already drastically reducing the number of those cases. To date, rapid tests have identified over 92,000 asymptomatic positive cases, who otherwise would have been spreading the virus.
How regular rapid workplace testing will work
Rapid Covid-19 tests are easy and convenient for workers to do. The results come back in around 30 minutes. By signing up your business for regular rapid workplace testing, so employees can get tested at least twice a week, you will help stop the spread, keeping your family, friends, colleagues, and business safe. Helping us all to get life moving.
Tests will be sent to businesses at no cost, making testing even more accessible. Businesses just need to provide a room to do the testing, some basic equipment and staff to support.
Odyssey Systems, based in Stockton-on-Tees, are one of the many businesses already signed up to delivering regular rapid workplace testing. A relatively small company of around 28 staff, they carry out business critical services across the North East and Yorkshire.
“Our staff work remotely whenever possible, but several roles require a presence in the office or, in the case of installing equipment or delivering remote working solutions, our engineers must attend a client’s premises. The lateral flow tests offer peace of mind to employees and engineers required to visit clients’ premises, and being able to access these tests for free will make a huge difference to our business”, Andrew Middlemiss, Finance Director at Odyssey Systems.
An online portal has launched at gov.uk to make it even easier for businesses to find out about offering workplace testing – and to order free tests. Businesses will be provided with all the information they need to plan and deliver their testing programme.
If your business registers by April 12, free tests will be provided until the end of June. You can sign up today by clicking this link.
Who is eligible?
A major effort across the private and public sector has already resulted in interest from over 48,000 UK organisations.
All businesses with employees in England who can’t work from home can sign up for rapid workplace testing, including those still closed due to lockdown. You’ll still need to register by April 12, and free tests will currently be provided until the end of June. Register your business here.
If you are a smaller business that is unable to offer rapid workplace testing, you can direct your employees to their local test sites. They will find information on where they can have a test, by using the postcode checker here.