More Firms to be Eligible for Business COVID Test Kits

Workplace COVID Test Kits

It’s been a difficult year to date with rules changing by the minute, but there is a glimmer of hope. The ‘stay at home’ order has officially ended and from 12 April, many closed businesses and shops can open for the first time in 2021. Companies will therefore be thinking how to open safely with workplace COVID testing being a topic of conversation.

Workplace testing for COVID-19 has always been a safety priority, with the government offering free lateral flow tests for businesses with 50 or more employees back in February. The good news is, business with over 10 employees will now be able to order free rapid home COVID test kits, so long as they can’t offer on-site testing. This will help many smaller companies to open safely. So here’s what you need to know.

How to Order Business COVID Test Kits

The test kits are free, and employees can use them at home to ensure they’re safe to come into work. To get your free kits, you must register interest by 12th April. To be eligible, your business must be registered in England and your employees must be unable to work from home. So if you’re continuing a remote working situation for all, you won’t be able to get free kits. As a business, you must order enough COVID test kits for each employee to take two a week. These should be distributed by you with clear instructions on how to use them properly.

How Do Lateral Flow Tests Work?

Once you’ve done a test once, it becomes incredibly easy. But the first time requires a little concentration. There are full instructions in the box. Essentially the process begins with cleaning the test area with antibacterial wipes and washing your hands. You then put a little plastic vial in a holder to ensure it stays upright and add an extraction solution.

Next, take the test by opening the swab and dabbing it on each of your tonsils four times. Use a torch or phone light so you can see exactly where you’re putting the swab. Then, pop the same swab in one of your nostrils. It’s important to put the swab inside your nose until you feel a bit of resistance and then rotate it ten times. Your eyes might water slightly but the process is typically painful. If you feel the need to sneeze, don’t do it over the swab.

To complete the test, stir the swab in the vial of extraction solution for 15 seconds. Pop the lid on and it becomes a tiny pipette. Use it to put two drops of liquid on the paper at the bottom of the lateral test device. This works in a similar way to a pregnancy test. After 30-minutes it’ll show you if your result is positive or negative. Two lines means you’ve received a positive result and need to isolate. If you test positive, confirm the result with a more accurate PCR test to be sure.

Should I Order the Tests?

They’re free and will help to keep your business operating safely. So it seems like a no-brainer. Many of your employees might feel anxious about returning to work, especially as they’ve not mingled with others in a while. So regular rapid testing will help to put their minds at ease and show them that you take health and safety seriously. Covid-19 has devastated lives across the globe and therefore it’s really important to tread carefully as the country reopens and to play your part where possible.

If you need any help and advice regarding your workplace entitlements, contact us today.