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Food sector workers can register for free COVID-19 testing

29th Jan 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Defra has informed the NFU that businesses with a minimum of 50 employees can register for government-funded lateral flow tests for asymptomatic workers.

The free lateral flow device (LFD) test kits will be available until 31 March 2021. The tests allow weekly testing of workers who are unable to work from home.

The government is inviting employers with more than 50 employees to establish asymptomatic testing sites (ATSs) in the workplace, which will allow both employees and contractors to access LFDs and receive rapid Covid-19 results.

An overview of the process is available in Introduction to LFD Testing in Workplaces.

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said: “We strongly welcome the move to get to rapid asymptomatic workplace testing in place for those still working incredibly hard to produce the nation’s food.

“It has always been important during times of crisis to keep workers safe and our shops and fridges full, so it’s great that Defra and DHSC have secured this testing for those food businesses, including farmers and growers where they have over 50 employees.

How to register your interest in workplace testing

To register your interest, email 
In the subject line enter ‘Register interest for National Worker Programme’.

In the body of the email state:

• Institution name
• Email for main point of contact
• Industry sector: food production
• Company registration number
• Size of company (no. of employees): 50-250 or >250

This offer currently covers locations in England only. 

You can find more information on the NFU website HERE