Council supports the roll-out of regular speedy COVID-19 tests for local businesses

Businesses are encouraged to sign up to the Government’s new rapid home testing programme, enabling their employees to have free, rapid and regular COVID-19 tests that can be taken at home!

Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 have no symptoms. Twice weekly testing for businesses using 'lateral flow' tests will help to identify these people before they can spread the virus to work colleagues or customers.

Any business with more than 10 employees can now join the national workplace testing programme. From 6 April, businesses will be eligible to order 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 on how to take the test. Staff will then complete the home test in the normal way, before reporting their results to the NHS.

The workplace testing programme uses lateral flow tests (LFD) to rapidly detect the virus in 30 minutes. Swift detection of cases means that those who test positive can isolate immediately, apply for a PCR test, and in doing so, break chains of transmission and suppress the virus.

Plymouth City Council urges them to register their interest by visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests

Ruth Harrell, Director of Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said:

“We are pleased to support the roll out of regular lateral flow testing in the city.  Many residents are unable to work from home, particularly as businesses begin to reopen. They are vital to keep Plymouth moving.

“Offering regular testing will keep them and their colleagues safer by identifying infectious people before they can spread the virus to others.

"It is important to remember that lateral flow testing is just one essential part of the roadmap.  We urge businesses and employees to make sure they use it as well as, and not instead of, hands-face-space and COVID-secure working practices. Regular testing for key workers with no COVID-19 symptoms means we can stop people from unknowingly spreading the virus to their colleagues or customers."

Smaller businesses, or businesses that do not have on site testing, can encourage their staff to attend our mobile Lateral Flow Testing van regularly. Appointments are pre-booked only and take around 15 minutes.

Tests are free and available to book here.

In addition, home tests are available for those businesses who’s staff are in a household with children, school staff or in their support bubbles. They can either collect home test kids from a local test site (find local availability) or order a home test kit online here.

Plymouth City Council reminds residents that regular rapid testing is for people who do not have symptoms. People who have any symptoms must self-isolate and get a PCR test through the Government website: www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test