Construction companies can now apply for free Covid home testing kits for their staff until 12 April 2021. As part of the Government’s workplace testing programme, from 6 April, any company with more than 10 employees will be eligible for the tests where onsite testing is not available.
This has now preceded the previous rule whereby only companies with more than 250 employees were eligible to access the lateral flow home testing kits which are used to rapidly detect the virus. However earlier this month, this rule was extended to all businesses and to include home testing.
The lateral flow detection kits are a preliminary test which is followed up by a more accurate PCR test in the event of a positive outcome.
Last week alone, over 8 million tests were carried out with 1 in 224 tests proving positive.
Companies are encouraged to register for a free kit until the end of June, even if they are not due to start work yet. Staff can pick up the tests from their employers along with clear directions on how to perform the test. Once completed, the test will follow the usual protocol of reporting the outcome to the NHS using the .gov address provided.
CBI Chief UK Policy Director, Matthew Fell, said: “Mass, rapid workplace testing is an essential pillar of the roadmap for reopening, alongside the vaccine rollout.
“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.”
“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.”
Matt Hancock, Health and social care secretary, said: “Rapid testing is a vital part of our roadmap, helping us to cautiously lift restrictions on our economy and society.
“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.”