We have been advised by Defra that Track and Trace will be contacting the 500 businesses that will be offered to join the daily testing of employees to ensure they can come out of Self Isolation to continue to work. Defra are unable to provide the BFFF with a list of the companies included due to commercial reasons.
This is a copy of the full email that has gone to the 500 companies. Please note that a webinar will take place at 11am on Monday 26 July. We are not sure if this is an open webinar or only for the 500 companies selected, but there is a link below. If you have not been selected you can email Defra to be considered for inclusion. They have confirmed it is their intention to expand the scheme wider in the coming weeks. It is likely although not yet confirmed that this scheme may go beyond 16 Aug COVID19.Coordinationunit.Agrifoodchain@defra.gov.uk
To whom it may concern,
You may already be aware that in recognition of rising absence rates across the food sector, last week the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced that ‘Daily contact testing’ will be rolled out to critical workplaces so that non-household contacts who would otherwise be required to self-isolate are instead able to take daily tests and work that day if they test negative. Priority testing sites at the largest supermarket distribution centres have already begun being set up, with roll-out to key manufacturing, food processing and wholesale sites planned to take place this week. In total 500 sites across the food supply chain have been identified.
I am writing to confirm that that your organisation’s sites are part of this initial allocation, and that your business details have been passed to NHS Test and Trace to begin the on-boarding process.
Tomorrow you can expect the NHS Test & Trace team to give you access to an online platform, which holds the legal declaration, clinical Standard Operating Procedures and guidance documents to enable you to mobilise daily contact testing. (Please note, you have been identified as the key point of contact for your organisation and access to the online platform is personal to you; it will not work if forwarded on.)
You will also receive an invite to attend an mobilisation webinar, which will be running daily this week at 11am. For ease, the link for tomorrow’s webinar is below.
You can share this link and the guidance documents within the online platform with whoever you need to.
We strongly encourage you to take part in daily contact testing, but in the mean time are grateful for your patience and ongoing hard work to keep food supply chains running. You will be given further information and support by T&T, and be guided through the process, so we ask that you wait until the webinars to seek any clarifications you may have. The purpose of this email is to signpost the process, and to encourage your participation.
If, however, you decide (either before or after attending a webinar) that you are not interested in taking part in Daily Contact Testing please let us know by reply to this email ASAP, so that we can extend the offer to other priority sites.
Defra has taken a risk-based approach to identify those businesses to prioritise for testing to ensure food supply across England chains hold up. As such, we recognise you may have partners or suppliers who are not part of the initial participants, but the ambition is for daily contact testing to be rolled out to more food supply chain workplaces over the coming weeks.
Note also that this Daily Contact Testing scheme is different to the scheme offering a reasonable excuse for named individuals who are close contacts of positive cases to leave self-isolation for the purpose of undertaking critical work where their absence would result in serious disruption to critical services. This will only apply to a very narrow cohort of critical workers, and is being managed through a separate inbox: email@example.com
Thank you again