The government is to offer construction companies free covid-19 testing kits to test workers who cannot work from home, as part of a bid to stop people with no symptoms from unknowingly spreading the virus.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng wrote to businesses yesterday to confirm that the government will provide employers with 50 or more employees with lateral flow testing kits to test staff who cannot work from home or who will return to the workforce as the economy opens up.
Around one in three people who have the virus have no symptoms, which has aided the spread of the disease.
The tests will be free until 30 June 2021 for companies that have registered by 31 March. The Department for Health and Social Care will also offer advice and guidance to support setting up testing facilities, along with a list of accredited private providers who can organise testing on companies’ behalf if they prefer.
Companies with fewer than 50 employees were told they can “take advantage of community testing” for their staff.
Kwarteng said: “It is vital that we ramp up the testing of those without symptoms in order to break the chains of transmission.
“Lateral flow tests are good at detecting those who are infectious and have already been hugely successful in finding positive cases we would not otherwise find, enabling those people to be taken out of the transmission chain. Workplaces that have introduced regular testing find they can plan with more certainty and spot individual cases before whole teams fall ill.”