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News & Events / Important Updates on Covid -19 testing for key workers

As you will be aware from previous updates we have circulated (http://bfff.co.uk/news/government-extends-testing-for-coronavirus-to-more-frontline-workers/) testing for COVID-19 is being extended to include additional frontline workers who are symptomatic, and members of their household who are symptomatic.

This will allow frontline workers to return to work if they, or members of their household, test negative for coronavirus.

We are of the understanding that referral for testing will be soon available through a digital portal which will allow employers to refer their staff. Eligible individuals will also be able to use the portal to self-refer for a test.

Ahead of the portal being rolled out, eligible individuals in England can still accessing testing. A range of options are available:

Private Sector – includes Energy and Utilities, Food Production, Movement of Goods, Workers involved in the continuity of essential travel, Providers of ancillary support to NHS workers
OFSTED – includes Children’s social care workers and services
Police Forces – includes British Transport Police
Other Government Departments (OGDs) – includes Ministry of Justice, HMPPS, HMCTS, Ministry of Defence, Home Office, Dept. for Transport and all other relevant departments
Pharmacy – includes Community Pharmacy
Local Resilience Forums* – includes Fire and Rescue Service, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Local Authority staff

Once you have sent the letter to your employee or their family member they can then book their appointment through that link.

Mobile testing units are being developed, which will operate out of a regional testing site and travel to offer tests where they are needed
NHS capability is being increased by providing test kits directly to ‘satellite’ centres at places like hospitals that have a particularly urgent or significant need
A home test kit is being developed that can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves, and their family, as required without leaving the house.
The company must nominate a single point of contact (and reserve) who will on a daily basis upload to a sharepoint the details of any individual within the company that they wish to receive a home testing kit. A guidance note (employers process) can be accessed here and outlines the details that will need to be provided and actions taken. However, the sharepoint system is not yet in place. In the meantime, the scheme administrator Louise Kirby asks you email her with your company point of contact and reserve and she will provide details of what you need to do for your employees until the sharepoint is in place louise.kirby@beis.gov.uk

Guidance and FQAs on the home testing pilot can be found here

The brand-new swab testing capacity to tell if someone has the virus is being delivered by commercial partners. The government are partnering with universities, research institutes and companies such as Amazon and Boots, to build a network of new labs and testing sites across the UK.
This new service has just launched and is ramping up rapidly. They are also working with other testing companies so that over time we will see many different commercial companies delivering mass swab testing.

You can read more about the scaling up of the testing programme here: