All employers can register for the national scheme for workplace testing.
Businesses with less than 10 employees can collect test kits from any of the testing sites (not including community pharmacies) for distribution to their staff for home testing.
Safe workplaces and businesses
Letter to employers and staff from Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health
I would like to thank you for your support in keeping your workplaces safe over the past year and share some suggestions on how we can reopen the economy safely over the coming months while Covid remains a significant threat.
I know for many of you this has meant that you have had to close for long periods, radically change your business models, and in some cases reduce your workforce. I am sorry this was necessary, but please be assured this did make a difference and saved lives.
As we move now into the road map towards living in a Covid world it is crucial that we take every precaution to control the pandemic so that the steps set out in the road map can be achieved on schedule and this will rely heavily on workplaces playing their part in protecting staff and clients.
Over the last three months we have continued to see clusters and outbreaks associated with workplaces and after households this remains one of the highest places linked to transmission, so it is essential that we proceed with caution and all employers take responsibility for Covid safety.
This should include the following core principles:
- Covid-safe environments including managed social distancing, regular cleaning and handwashing, good ventilation, face coverings and where appropriate for close contact work personal protection equipment (PPE).
- Covid outbreak plans in which every business should have a risk assessment and plan in place for how to respond to a case of Covid in a staff member or client, this should include easily accessible contact tracing information and isolation support for cases and contacts.
- Twice weekly rapid lateral flow testing (LFD) of all employees who have no symptoms should be in place, this can either be through supporting staff to access:
- Anyone with symptoms must isolate immediately and use the PCR tests available on the GOV.UK website
- Vaccination support for eligible employees to ensure good uptake in the workforce to reduce risk of transmission.
The Council has launched free training for workplaces setting up testing sites.
Please attend this free Lateral Flow Device training offer for more information and advice. Eventbrite - Rapid (LFT) Test Training for Businesses
We are also developing a series of business webinars to help work through each of these key areas to provide further in-depth advice and information and these should launch shortly. To support you to prepare this we have produced some short information sheets that are attached which we hope will be helpful in supporting you and your staff to reduce the risks of Covid spreading.
We have set up the COVID-19 Champions as a way of getting more information directly to citizens and there are now almost 800 champions across the city.
If you would like more on going information about Covid, vaccination and changes in policy then do sign up and join the network.
Thank you again for all you are doing to play your part in protecting your employees and customers and our city as we all work together to stop the spread of coronavirus and hopefully build a better future for our economy, business, and residents in Birmingham.
Dr Justin Varney