UK construction workers offered Covid-19 testing

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Health secretary Matt Hancock has pledged to expand Covid-19 testing to construction workers

In last night’s briefing (28 April), the health secretary said construction workers and their families will be offered Covid-19 tests.

Testing capacity has now reached 73,000 per day in the UK.

Hancock said: “Expansion of our testing programme protects our most vulnerable and keeps people safe.

“Testing is now available to all over 65s and members of their households, if they have symptoms.

“Any worker who needs to leave their home in order to go to work, and their households, if any of them have symptoms can also get a test. This means construction workers to emergency plumbers, research scientists to those in manufacturing – can now be tested.

“All they need to do is go on the internet and apply for a test.”

There are now more than 40 drive-through Covid-19 testing sites across the UK and, by the end of the week, 25,000 home testing kits will be available for ordering every day.

Union pressure

Earlier this week, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail wrote to Matt Hancock calling for construction workers to be offered Covid-19 testing.

Cartmail said: “Unite believes construction workers should be included within the sectors designated for Covid-19 testing as one of a number of measures necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Government needs to understand that construction workers have travelled to and from work amongst these other key workers and will continue to do so. For testing to be effective within the key worker group construction workers must be included.”

UK coronavirus cases

There are now more than 161,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK and more than 21,000 people with the virus have died.

More than half a million people have been tested for coronavirus so far.

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