Access to testing for those with symptoms of coronavirus will be extended across England to include additional frontline workers and symptomatic members of their family or household to allow the key worker to return to work.
This follows the launch of the government’s partnership with universities, research institutes and companies to begin rollout of the network of new Lighthouse Labs and drive-through testing sites across the UK, with over 20 testing sites opened to date.
The government is already working with local resilience forums to get additional critical workers in their areas tested, including police officers, fire and rescue service employees, and those running the justice system.
Maria said “In Basingstoke testing has already been expanded to include many other frontline workers including people who are working in social care . The Government’s announcement on the expansion of testing will allow even more vital workers to return to the front line.
“Testing is key in our battle against coronavirus and we now have the ability to provide more people with the certainty they need to get back to the front line when it is safe to do so.”
The full list of eligible workers now includes:
· all NHS and social care staff, including hospital, community and primary care, and staff providing support to frontline NHS services (for example accommodation, catering) and voluntary workers
· police, fire and rescue services
· local authority staff, including those working with vulnerable children, adults and victims of domestic abuse, and those working with the homeless and rough sleepers
· defence, prisons and probation staff, and judiciary
· frontline benefits workers
Anyone who is eligible – has symptoms of coronavirus a high temperature or new continuous cough – and would like to be tested should speak to their employer. The relevant employers will be provided with information on how to make an appointment with the programme either from their local resilience forum or direct from the Department of Health and Social Care.
See the updated guidance on getting tested: Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Where there is extra testing capacity, we will also expand testing to other groups of workers that need it. This will include those delivering critical medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies in both the public and private sector.
To build capacity the government is also developing mobile testing units and a home test kit that can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves, and their family, without leaving the house.