An online portal has been launched to make it even easier for business in the private sector to get involved and find out more about offering rapid testing in the workplace. Business that are open during lockdown can now sign up to rapid testing programmes that identify cases of Covid-19 in employees who are not showing symptoms, to help stop the spread of Covid-19, and ensure vital public and economic services can continue.

Businesses can register to order coronavirus rapid lateral flow tests for employees if:

  • Your business is registered in England
  • You employ 50 people or more
  • Your employees cannot work from home

Testing is key to breaking the chains of transmission. Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. This expansion of testing will find more positive cases, keeping workers who cannot work from home unknowingly passing on the virus and protecting vital public services. For more information, click here.

Some key points on how this will impact businesses in the Finishes and Interiors Sector:

Key points:

  • Main focus is to root out the 1 in 3 that have the virus, but show no symptoms
  • Will support community testing, still open to construction workers for smaller sites
  • Links with a digital platform and the employee is notified.  Employer doesn’t receive “personal medical information”.
  • The system is based on the Lateral Flow Test and will detect a positive test in 95% of cases when people at their most infectious.  Government guidelines have been updated to reflect that self-isolation is essential if someone receives a LFT (it doesn’t need to get rechecked on a PCR test).
  • In terms of false positives, it is apparently close to 100% specificity (>99%)– Government have emphasised “very, very few people will get a false positive”.
  • It can’t be mandatory, but will be strongly encouraged.
  • Plan is to test on sites twice a week (if people visit multi sites, it isn’t a passport system so may get tested multiple times)
  • It will add to standing time on site

FIS has been consulted and has fed in information related to the introduction and has raised questions around multiple site visits and employer/employee rights.  If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact