Daily contact testing rolled out to further critical sectors

Daily contact testing rolled out to further critical sectors

Further targeted daily contact testing is being rolled out in England to frontline emergency services and some transport workers, following the government’s close engagement with these sectors in order to avoid any potential disruption to crucial services.

Following clinical trial results, daily contact testing will be rolled out to further critical workplaces in England so that contacts who would otherwise be self-isolating can instead take daily tests, with an expected initial additional 200 testing sites.

Delivering daily contact testing to these critical workplaces builds on pioneering work by NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England which puts the UK at the vanguard of scientific research.

New testing sites will be allocated for frontline police and fire services to ensure critical staff can continue their vital work.

Frontline Border Force staff, working at some ports across the country will be able to take part in the Border Force run testing centres.

In addition, to ensure the transportation of critical goods and supplies and the smooth running of England’s transport network, testing sites will be set up to support the most critical parts of our transport and freight systems, which we will keep under review through close engagement with the transport industry. These include rail infrastructure, ports and airports, and haulage firms.

Daily testing will enable eligible workers who have received alerts from the NHS Covid 19 app or have been called by NHS Test and Trace and told they are a contact and to isolate will be able to continue working if they test negative.

Employers and workers taking part in Daily Contact Testing will be provided with guidance about the protocols they must follow.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Our brave police officers and fire fighters have shown throughout the pandemic that they have worked tirelessly to keep us safe and serve their communities.

Border Force have played a vital role in the national effort to keep goods and supplies coming into the country as well as keeping our borders secure.

Daily testing will keep our frontline teams safe while they continue to serve the public and communities across our country.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said:

Our transport workers have done an incredible job throughout the pandemic to keep this country moving.

To make sure they can continue to do their vital work safely, I’m pleased we’ll be rolling out testing sites to key transport locations – enabling staff to continue working with confidence.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Throughout the pandemic, our frontline emergency services have continued to keep us all safe, overcoming enormous challenges to do so, while workers across the transport network have kept the country moving

As we learn to live with the virus, we must do everything we can to break chains of transmission and stop the spread of the virus. Daily contact testing of workers in these critical sectors will help to minimise any disruption caused by rising cases in the coming weeks, while ensuring staff are not put at risk.

Self-isolation remains an essential tool for suppressing the transmission of the virus.

People who have been identified as contacts are at least five times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than other members of the public. Vaccines are highly effective at reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death, and we are encouraging everyone to continue to get the vaccine to enable us to tackle the virus.

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