Council supports the roll-out of regular speedy COVID-19 tests for local businesses
6 April 2021
Businesses are encouraged to sign up to the Government’s new rapid home testing programme, enabling their employees to have free, rapid and regular COVID-19 tests that can be taken at home.
Up to one in three people who have COVID-19, have no symptoms. Twice weekly testing for businesses using 'lateral flow' tests will help to identify these people before they can spread the virus to work colleagues or customers.
Any business with more than 10 employees can now join the national workplace testing programme. From today (6 April), businesses will be eligible to order home test kits online to distribute to their employees. These self-test kits will be picked up by staff, from their employer, with clear instructions on how to take the test. Staff will then complete the home test in the normal way, before reporting their results to the NHS.
The workplace testing programme uses Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) to rapidly detect the virus in 30 minutes. Swift detection of cases means that those who test positive can isolate immediately, apply for a further PCR test, and in doing so, break chains of transmission and suppress the virus.
Richmond Council urges them to register their interest online.
Shannon Katiyo, Director of Public Health for Richmond Council, said:
“We are pleased to support the roll out of regular lateral flow testing in the borough. Many residents are unable to work from home, particularly as businesses begin to reopen. They are vital to keep Richmond upon Thames moving.
“Offering regular testing will keep them and their colleagues safer by identifying persons infected with COVID-19 and reducing the risk of spreading the virus to others.
"It is important to remember that lateral flow testing is just one essential part of the roadmap. We urge businesses and employees to make sure they use it as well as, keeping to, ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ and COVID-secure working practices. Regular testing for key workers with no COVID-19 symptoms means we can stop people from unknowingly spreading the virus to their colleagues or customers."
Smaller businesses, or businesses that do not have on site testing, can encourage their staff to attend a community test site regularly. Appointments are pre-booked only and take around 15 minutes. Self-employed people and sole traders can also visit these sites.
Tests are free and available to book online at the below locations:
- Sheen Lane Centre (East Sheen)
- C Goode Pharmacy (Twickenham)
- Day Lewis Pharmacy (Twickenham)
- Forward Pharmacy (Barnes)
- Pharmacare (Ham)
- Teddington Pharmacy (Teddington)
In addition, households and bubbles of pupils and staff of schools, nurseries and colleges (including childcare and related occupations) can pick up home self-test kits from St Mary’s University Broom Road sports campus in Teddington every day from 2:30pm to 8pm. Alternately, find your nearest home testing kit site.
From Tuesday 6 April home self-test kits will be also available for collection from Sheen Lane Centre (74 Sheen Lane, East Sheen, SW14 8LP) and the Civic Centre in Twickenham. These two sites will both be open for collections from 9am to 4.30pm on weekdays only.
Richmond Council reminds residents that regular rapid testing is for people who do not have symptoms. People who have any symptoms must self-isolate and get a PCR test through the Government website.
There is still space available at a series of virtual business events, to support businesses in the lead up to the 12 April. Read more information on how to register.
Up to: April 2021
Updated: 6 April 2021