A recent announcement from the government means that rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 testing will be rolled out across all local authorities for tradespeople and key workers who cannot work from home. This is great news for tradespeople who, up until now, could have been transmitting the virus around the homes that they visited for work without even knowing.
So far, 131 local authorities have signed up to the scheme, but the government plans to rapidly expand it so that rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 tests will be available to tradespeople across the entire country.
NHS track and trace are also working closely with the government to improve workforce testing. So far, 27,000 rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 tests have been carried out for public sector workers.
What are the benefits of testing asymptomatic people?
Current evidence suggests that 1 in 3 people who have COVID-19 don't have any symptoms. This means there are thousands of people living and working among us, who don't even know that they have the virus.
The government's new plan to make rapid testing available to tradespeople and other workers that interact with the public on a daily basis aims to curb the spread of the virus. Tradespeople who test positive for the virus (despite showing no symptoms) will be asked to self-isolate.
While this may seem inconvenient if you're a self-employed tradesperson, it certainly is a step in the right direction in terms of protecting people in the homes you're visiting and making sure that the country's vital services can continue to operate safely. So far, asymptomatic tests have helped to identify almost 15,000 people who would never have known that they had the virus.
How do I arrange a rapid COVID-19 test?
The government haven't yet released a list of rapid COVID-19 test centres because the system is still in its early stages. That being said, if you're a tradesperson who's interested in having a rapid asymptomatic COVID-19 test, you should contact your local authority to find out where they're being carried out in your local area. They can advise you on how to book the test and where to go for it.
How does the rapid COVID-19 test work?
First, a swab is taken from your nostrils or the back of your throat. This part is similar to a standard COVID-19 test. Next, your sample is mixed with a solution and a drip is added to the test's sample well.
The test takes 30 minutes to develop, then you should see your results as either positive, negative or inconclusive. If your test is inconclusive, you may be asked to book another one.
This new system of rapid testing is guaranteed to make working life safer for tradespeople, and we're hopeful that this will give you all a bit of normality back.
Give us a call if you're heading back to work and need to update your toolkit with a new ladder. We have some great trade discounts available if you apply for one of our trade accounts.
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Read More: Can Tradespeople Work During Lockdown?