Construction workers are among those set to receive regular rapid COVID-19 testing as the government focuses its efforts on targeting those who do not exhibit Coronavirus symptoms.
The government says it will be encouraging local authorities to conduct rapid COVID testing on people who cannot work from home during lockdown; according to figures, around one in three people have COVID-19 without displaying any symptoms.
Rapid, regular COVID testing for people without symptoms will be made available across the country from this week, with the eligibility of the community testing programme expanded to cover all 317 local authorities.
The expansion of asymptomatic COVID testing will identify more positive cases of COVID-19 and ensure that those who are infected isolate, safeguarding both those who cannot work from home and public services.
Health secretary Matt Hancock, said: “With roughly a third of people who have Coronavirus not showing symptoms, targeted asymptomatic testing and subsequent isolation is highly effective in breaking chains of transmission.
“Rapid, regular testing is led by local authorities who design programmes based on their in-depth knowledge of the local populations, so testing can have the greatest impact.
“We are now expanding this offer to every local authority across the country, and asking testing to be targeted on workers who cannot work from home during this national lockdown, while asking employers to work with us to scale up workforce testing.”
Hancock added: “Lateral flow tests have already been hugely successful in finding positive cases quickly – and every positive case found is helping to stop the spread – so I encourage employers and workers to take this offer up.
“We must all do all we can to stop the spread of COVID, right now.”
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