COVID-19 Workplace Testing Programme (UK)

The Government has announced it will make rapid home testing available for all businesses with over 10 employees who cannot offer on-site testing.

Businesses must register interest by 12 April to access free tests.

Details

From 6 April, the workplace testing programme will supply home test kits to companies with over 10 workers where it is not possible to set up testing on-site, due to a lack of space or because companies operate across multiple sites.

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.

Employers with fewer than 10 people can alternatively access regular testing through the community testing programme, which is now offered by all local authorities in England. Work is also underway to allow staff of small businesses to order tests online to be sent to their home.

Further details are here.

Workplace testing (UK-Covid)

Some employers and third-party healthcare providers may want to introduce their own internal testing programmes outside of NHS Test and Trace.

NHS Test and Trace is for those who display symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been advised to take a test by a medical practitioner or public service. Employer and third-party healthcare providers wishing to provide a test to staff must not advise individuals without symptoms to get a test from the limited supply offered by the NHS Test and Trace service, but may offer alternative private provision.

The government first published guidance on 10 Sept 2020.

The guidance was updated several times since, and on 26 Feb 2021 was updated –

Updated to reflect the ongoing evolution of private-sector testing. In particular, updated advice in relation to lateral flow device (LFD) testing, routes to access testing, and a more comprehensive supplementary annex for employers and third-party providers wishing to offer workplace testing for asymptomatic employees.

The guidance is here.

Note CE marking is replaced by UKCA marking. Information on UKCA marking is here.

Existing CE marked goods may continue to circulate on the GB market in 2021 under transitional arrangements.

CE marked goods may circulate in Northern Ireland under the Protocol, UKCA goods must be marked UKNI in the Northern Ireland market (see the UKCA marking link).