In the next major push for the government’s workplace testing programme, construction companies can now order free Covid tests that can be taken at home
From 6 April, the workplace testing programme will supply home Covid tests to companies with over 10 workers where it is not possible to set up testing on-site.
Construction businesses across the country will be eligible to order the home test kits online to distribute to their employees.
These self-test kits will be picked up by staff from their employer with clear instructions about how to take the test.
Staff will then complete the home Covid test in the normal way, before reporting their results to the NHS using the provided gov.uk address.
The workplace testing programme uses lateral flow tests (LFD) to rapidly detect the virus in 30 minutes.
‘A vital part of our roadmap’
Health and social care secretary, Matt Hancock, 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.”
Businesses are encouraged to register before 12 April in order to access free tests until the end of June, even if they’re not yet open or are not able to start using the tests straight away.
As well as reporting their result directly to the NHS, employees should advise their employer of a positive result and take a confirmatory PCR test. Employers will retain an important role in encouraging their employees to take and report the results of their test.
Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, added: “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. The move to home testing reflects an 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.”