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Free rapid covid tests for all businesses in England

Fish and chip shops in England are now able to order free lateral flow tests for their employees as part of the government’s Covid-19 workplace testing programme.

Shop are encouraged to register by 31st March to access the free rapid tests which detect cases in under 30 minutes. The scheme will remain free until the end of June.

According to the government, around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus in workplaces without knowing.

Regular testing could be the difference between a workplace being able to stay open and operational, or needing to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

So far over 3,500 businesses are signed up to offer workplace testing programmes, and over 14,000 have registered their interest in offering rapid testing.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "Regular workplace testing is a vital part of our route back to normal life, which is why I’m very pleased that we’re now expanding our offer of free workplace testing to businesses of all sizes, including SMEs.

"These rapid tests will allows positive cases of Covid-19 to be caught quickly, which is crucial in helping businesses protect their workplaces and employees as we cautiously lift restrictions.

“I urge all businesses to register their interest in the programme before 31st March to help break chains of transmission and keep people safe.”

An online portal has been launched for businesses to find out more about offering rapid workplace testing.

Businesses will be provided with all the information they need to plan and deliver their testing programme, along with promotional materials.

All local authorities in England are now offering rapid lateral flow testing for small businesses if they can’t offer rapid workplace testing. Businesses can find their local test site online.

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