Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Investing

Covid testing expanded to more workplaces with over 50 employees in England

Covid 19 testing

Workplace Covid testing is being offered to more companies in England, for staff who cannot work from home during lockdown, the government says.

Businesses with more than 50 employees are now able to access lateral flow tests, which can produce results in less than 30 minutes.

Previously only firms with more than 250 staff qualified for testing.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged businesses and employees to take up the offer to “stop this virus spreading”.

“When you consider that around one in three people have the virus without symptoms and could potentially infect people without even knowing it, it becomes clear why focusing testing on those without symptoms is so essential,” he said, adding that firms should regularly test staff.

The government said the wider criteria would “hugely” increase the number of different businesses that are able to sign up, with small and medium sized companies now able to take part.

A website has been launched for more businesses to register for the rapid testing programme.

It comes as England’s national lockdown continues, and the UK’s daily reported coronavirus deaths and cases remain high.

The latest figures showed another 828 people in the UK have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test, and there were a further 18,262 cases.

As of Friday, the UK had given a first jab to nearly 11.5 million people.

Meanwhile, GPs in England will be paid an additional £10 by the NHS for every housebound patient they vaccinate against Covid-19.

As well as offering vaccinations at their practices, GPs have been visiting patients to provide jabs to often vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes.

The extra £10-per-visit funding is to recognise the extra staff time and complexity of vaccinating housebound people, NHS England said.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the expanded workplace testing regime would complement the rollout of Covid vaccines in the drive to “reopen the economy and recover our way of life as soon as it is safe to do so”.

And the British Chambers of Commerce said it would be “working hard to ensure that eligible businesses take up this opportunity”.

But union officials said employers could not rely on lateral flow testing alone to ensure the safety of staff, citing that Public Health England (PHE) found examples of missed asymptomatic positive cases during the mass testing pilot in Liverpool last year.

Dan Shears, GMB union’s health, safety and environment director, said: “These rapid tests are not a magic bullet, and it is vital that employers understand the limitations and take steps to address them.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth welcomed the extra testing but said “so much more needs to be done to make workplaces Covid-secure including improving ventilation and upgraded PPE (personal protection equipment) standards”.

“This is even more important when the most recent data shows hundreds of outbreaks in workplaces since the start of January,” he said.

Some 112 UK organisations have so far signed up to take part in workplace testing, with employees being tested across 500 sites, according to government figures.

This includes private sector organisations in the food, manufacturing, energy and retail sectors, and public sector employers such as job centres, transport networks, and the military.

NHS Test and Trace said that, as of 29 January, it had provided Transport for London (TfL) staff with 2,173 tests, identifying 28 positive cases who would have otherwise continued working alongside colleagues.

But a CBI survey found that 87% of UK businesses were not currently testing in the workplace, citing reasons such as the availability of NHS testing for individuals, unclear guidance, and the operational, logistical and/or regulatory complexity of offering testing.

Of those not carrying out workplace testing, 69% said they were not planning to offer testing in the next three months.

The CBI said the government had “a big role” to provide guidance and make it simple to introduce workplace testing.

According to the Department of Health, tests are currently being provided free to both public and private sector employers until at least 31 March, and the government’s support will be kept under review.

NHS Test and Trace will support organisations to deliver the asymptomatic testing by supplying the kits, and offering guidance and training for delivery.

The additional funding for GPs is retrospective and will apply to any vaccinations that have already been delivered to those who cannot leave their homes.

More than 1,000 GP services are part of the NHS vaccination programme, alongside over 250 hospital hubs and nearly 200 services run by high street pharmacies.

The UK’s devolved nations have the power to set their own coronavirus regulations.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each offer their own advice on testing.

Read more:
Covid testing expanded to more workplaces with over 50 employees in England

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Investing

People living in rural areas are having to travel further to find somewhere to withdraw and deposit cash free of charge, says the City...

Investing

Ministers have ruled out extending the list of workers who are exempt from self-isolation rules and warned that the August 16 date for lifting...

Economy

The House of Representatives will adopt the Senate’s version of the proposed measure taxing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO), a key lawmaker said on...

Economy

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday approved the recommendation of his pandemic task force to enforce stricter quarantine rules in Manila, the capital, and...

Economy

Thirty-seven percent of Filipinos are optimistic that their lives will improve over the next 12 months, a non-commissioned survey shows.  Of the 1,200 respondents in Social Weather Stations’...

Economy

Six electricity consumers on Friday filed a complaint with the Ombudsman against Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, alleging that the government official has neglected his duties.  “In his five...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will rely on ally countries to supply the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles and focus on...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Economy

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public from investing or to stop any investment in a group named Maxxprofit Computer Trading...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.



Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!