The Coronavirus National Testing Programme has now expanded capacity to test other frontline workers who are having to self-isolate due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms.
The full list of eligible employers now includes:
- All NHS and social care staff, including hospital, community and primary care, and relevant staff providing ancillary support to frontline NHS services (e.g. accommodation, catering) and voluntary workers.
- Police, fire and rescue services.
- Local authority staff, including core and essential workers such as those working with vulnerable children and adults, with victims of domestic violence, and with the homeless and rough sleepers, and those staff essential to the continuity of business.
- Defence, prisons and probation, and judiciary staff.
- Front-line benefits workers.
In addition, government departments, national agencies and local resilience forums have discretion to refer other critical workers in their area for testing as determined by local need and available capacity. This includes frontline workers in the private sector, with a focus on staff delivering key medical, energy, utility, transport and food supplies.
For the avoidance of doubt, eligibility includes LA-employed or commissioned staff delivering front-line public health services.
More detailed information on the types of workers who may now be eligible for testing can be found here
Any individuals who think they are eligible and need to be tested should speak to their employer. Employers are being provided with the attached information on how to make an appointment. This information is being distributed via local resilience forums (where the region chooses to organise testing in this way), via national government departments/agencies responsible for relevant service areas, and direct from the Department of Health and Social Care.
Employees will need access to a vehicle and to an email address, and should receive a confirmation email soon after booking. They will need to bring their confirmation email with them to the testing centre. This should be sufficient verification, but it may also be helpful for them to carry their organisational ID card.
Any employer that has any queries can contact their local resilience forum, appropriate government department / national agency, or the Department of Health and Social Care on firstname.lastname@example.org .
DHSC have developed an online registration form to enable speedy booking so it can get as many frontline workers tested as soon possible. This is a temporary facility and it will be replaced by a permanent digital booking system which will allow employees to book themselves a test. Once the permanent solution is ready, that link will be shared and DHSC will update their communications.
Individuals working in LA provided or commissioned public health services should use the “Local Resilience Forums” registration link
Please note that registration links should not be shared publicly (e.g. via social media) as this may lead to them being deactivated.
Queries for DHSC from individuals and employers are best directed to the email@example.com mailbox.
We have put together the best places to look for information and will continue to update our Q&As based on the questions our Employment Team are receiving on our advice line here.