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On 10th January, the UK Government announced they would be expanding the offer of asymptomatic testing to critical workers who cannot work from home during this period of national lockdown restrictions.

Lateral flow tests (LFTs), also known as lateral flow devices (LFDs), are rapid tests which are used for asymptomatic testing to identify cases of Covid-19. With 1 in 3 people with coronavirus never showing any symptoms but still being infectious, LFTs can identify cases who would have gone unidentified and avoid spreading the virus to others.

On February 7th, the Government announced they were reducing the size of businesses who could apply for tests from 250 employees to 50 employees. This hugely increases the number of different businesses that are able to sign up, so that small and medium size companies can benefit from rapid testing as we work to Build Back Better.

Watch a video on Lateral Flow Testing here.

How can businesses with over 250 employees access asymptomatic testing?

Businesses with over 250 employees (both private and public) can access institutional testing, offered by the UK Government as an on-site testing solution. To access institutional testing for your workplace:

  • Register your interest online via a simple form: Register to order coronavirus tests for your employees – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • An invitation to an introductory webinar (1hr) will be made. This will explain in detail everything you need to know before setting up testing site in your workplace.
  • You will be invited to review a set of documents including terms and conditions, which need to be signed before you place your order. These documents are all held on an ordering platform called Egress, so they can do all of that digitally.
  • Once ready to request LFTs, the organisation will need to fill in an order form to be approached at NHS test and trace.
  • It is currently an average of 7 days between submitting order form and receiving the tests. For any queries, email P-and-PSector@dhsc.gov.uk.

How can businesses with 50-250 employees access asymptomatic testing?

Businesses (both public and private sectors) with between 50 and 250 employees can access asymptomatic testing through institutional testing (using the same steps highlighted for businesses with over 250 employees, above) and should do so wherever possible.

Businesses of this size can also access testing through community testing at the local authority. To have access to the community testing provided by the local authority in your area, your organisation has to meet the eligibility criteria highlighted below of critical workers who cannot work from home during the national restrictions.

  • You will need to provide details of the number of staff in the organisation, which will need be to less than 250 staff
  • Employees include those who do not have access to LFT already
  • Employees have to be identified as critical workers
  • You will be provide with booking information and Humber LFT FAQs
  • Employees will then be able to access the test twice a week, minimal once a week.

How can businesses with less than 50 employees access testing

Small businesses in both the public and private sector with less than 50 staff, sole traders and self-employed citizens can access asymptomatic testing through community testing sites provided by the local authority in your area.

To have access to the community testing:

  • You will need to provide details of the number of staff in the organisation, which will need be to less than 250 staff
  • Employees include those who do not have access to LFT already
  • Employees have to be identified as critical workers
  • You will be provide with booking information and Humber LFT FAQs
  • Employees will then be able to access the test twice a week, minimal once a week

Eligibility criteria for Community Testing

Community testing will be provided for businesses that are unable to access testing provided through other channels.

Testing is being made available to those people who are permitted to leave home for work (including essential voluntary work) and who are unable to access asymptomatic testing through other routes, particularly those who are critical to supporting communities, responding to the pandemic and/or at higher risk of infection and transmission

Organisations that can access community testing include:

  • Small or local public sector organisations
  • Charities and voluntary groups
  • Small or local private sector businesses providing key public services and unable to access institutional testing; e.g. waste management, public transport, taxi firms, power and water companies etc.
  • Education or childcare settings not covered by existing schools testing; e.g. private nurseries, children homes, childminders etc. which are currently priorities by East riding.
  • Medium sized local businesses (generally businesses between 50 and 250 staff) unable to practically access institutional testing
  • Small or local businesses (generally less than 50 staff), sole traders or self-employed citizens

Local Authority Information: Accessing local testing sites

The four Humber Local Authorities are offering targeted critical worker testing at various sites across the area. For further information for testing options in your local authority area, please visit the following websites: