SME contractors targeted in Covid testing drive

Construction companies employing more than 50 people are being encouraged to offer regular Covid tests for workers.

The government is expanding its offer of rapid workplace testing for people who are not showing symptoms beyond the current minimum of 250 employees.

The offer is open to “organisations across different sectors that are vital to the running of our country and where employees cannot work from home during lockdown”

An online portal has been set up here for companies to order rapid lateral flow tests for employees.

The tests are being made available free until at least March 31.

The government said: “This hugely increases the number of different businesses that are able to sign up, so that small and medium size companies can benefit from rapid testing as we work to Build Back Better.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “To save lives and protect the NHS, we have again asked for everyone to work from home. But we know that for some this is not possible, which is why the workplace rapid testing programme is so important.

“Employers should regularly test their staff, and this drive across government to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to introduce rapid testing for employees is incredibly important.

“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.”

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