Workplace testing rolled out to boost recovery
Organisations with ten or more employees can now sign up for asymptomatic workplace testing as part of an enhanced drive to identify emerging coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and break chains of transmission.
Free lateral flow device (LFD) tests have been made more widely available as the country emerges from lockdown restrictions and moves beyond level 0.
The testing regime is voluntary and organisations can adopt an LFD Collect model to distribute among workers or implement their own asymptomatic test site (ATS) model in workplaces.
Workplace testing in Scotland had previously been targeted at prioritised areas of the public sector, critical national infrastructure and private businesses with higher transmission rates.
Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “Testing has a vital role to play as we move safely out of lockdown and this rollout of workplace testing to cover all companies with 10 staff or more builds on our strategy to tackle COVID-19.
“The vaccination programme has been a major success, however even though you are fully vaccinated it does not guarantee that you cannot catch the virus and pass it on without knowing you have it. Asymptomatic testing will remain an important tool in breaking future chains of transmission.
"As more staff continue to return to the workplace in the months ahead, we must do all we can to ensure this is done as safely as possible.
"Workplace asymptomatic testing can play an important part in the recovery and organisations across our business, third and public sectors can contribute to this.
“It’s vital that all results are reported to ensure we understand the prevalence of the virus and halt further transmission.
"I would encourage all organisations who are eligible to sign up for workplace testing and play their part in our recovery from the pandemic.”
The workplace testing expansion has been introduced in response to requests from organisations and representative bodies from a range of sectors.
The workplace testing offer will initially be until the end of September 2021, in line with the universal testing offer. It will include formal volunteers from third sector organisations.
Eligible Scottish organisations can find information on how to apply by visiting: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/workplace-testing/
Organisations with less than 10 employees can direct their workforce to collect LFD test kits from a local pharmacy or COVID-19 test site, or order online for home delivery.
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