The deadline to order free COVID-19 symptom-free tests (also known as rapid lateral flow tests), for Walsall businesses with 10 or more employees has been extended to 12 April. This will allow businesses to set up their own testing site in the workplace and test employees twice a week. Businesses can still register even if they are not currently open due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Lateral flow tests are used to test people who do not have symptoms but could unknowingly be carrying the virus.
Businesses with fewer than 10 employees are urged to encourage their workforce to continue getting tested twice weekly at one of the borough’s symptom-free testing sites or through selected pharmacies.
Stephen Gunther, Director for Public Health Walsall said:
“I know that Walsall businesses have been working really hard to keep their employees and workplaces safe and to keep their businesses running in these difficult times. I understand that it feels like we are continually asking our businesses to do more but testing in the workplace is a great tool to help keep employees safe and keep workplaces COVID-secure.
“Walsall employers have a vital role to play as we start to move through the stages of the roadmap out of lockdown. Workforce testing can help to protect staff, improving the overall resilience of business operations.
“Evidence shows us that one in every three people who test positive for COVID-19 doesn’t have any symptoms, but can still pass it on. Anyone who cannot work from home will frequently come into contact with others through their job so they should be having a symptom-free test twice a week.
“Identifying people who have the virus but do not have any symptoms so that they can self-isolate will reduce the spread of the virus. This will benefit employers and Walsall as a whole as it will help to keep our infection rates down. Without this workplace testing, any members of staff with COVID-19 who are not experiencing any symptoms would continue to work and potentially infect others.
“It is important to make access to symptom free testing as easy as possible and having the opportunity to take the test in their place of work should encourage more people to get tested regularly. Every test we take helps us to identify where the virus is and stop it in its tracks.”
“Workforce symptom free testing is in addition to, and does not replace, a range of other measures in place in the workforce or wider society, such as social distancing, hand hygiene and face coverings and good ventilation.”
Employees must continue to work from home if possible.
Walsall businesses can register for workplace symptom-free tests by 11:59pm on 12 April 2021.
Employees who do not have access to workplace testing can book a symptom-free test at one of Walsall’s community or pharmacy testing sites.
Anyone who does experience COVID-19 symptoms, including high temperature, new continuous cough or loss or change in sense of smell and taste, or those feeling unwell should book a COVID-19 test through the NHS.
Notes to editors