Scotland expands workplace testing for Covid-19  

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A woman takes the lateral flow test on February 22, 2021 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

Scottish government has rolled out an asymptomatic workplace testing programme for organisations with ten or more employees as part of an enhanced drive to identify emerging Covid-19 cases.

Free lateral flow device (LFD) tests have been made more widely available for the testing regime, which is voluntary.

Organisations can either adopt an LFD Collect model to distribute among workers or implement their own asymptomatic test site (ATS) model in workplaces.

“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,” Public Health Minister Maree Todd said.

“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.”

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.

Todd added that it’s also vital to report all results to understand the prevalence of the virus and halt further 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,” she said.

The workplace testing offer will initially be until the end of September, in line with the universal testing offer. Eligible Scottish organisations can find information on how to apply here.

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.