Workplaces in Rotherham with over 50 employees will have until 31st March 2021 to register for free COVID tests.
This deadline applies only for businesses where it is impossible to work from home such as retail, manufacturing, health and social care where it will become employers responsibility to test their employees.
Director of Public Health for Rotherham, Ben Anderson, said: “I’m encouraging businesses in Rotherham and the wider area who employ over 50 people who are not able to work at home to register their interest for workplace testing so that they can continue the great work they are already doing at keeping our workplaces safe”.
The tests offered are the Lateral Flow Antigen Tests which have two main benefits, they can detect COVID carriers even without symptoms showing and also give results within half an hour of testing.
Mr Anderson said: “Using Lateral Flow Testing, employers will be able to cut the rate of transmission of the virus by being able to support staff who are contagious to isolate so they are not able to spread the virus into the workplace”.
This testing will be vital as the start of lockdown easing begins on March 8th where all students will return to face to face education in schools and college if they do weekly testing, the Prime Minister saying that this was a ‘top priority’.
Victoria Musk, 50, a school TA at Cressex Community School had her first day back with all the children returning since the end of the Winter term and she is tested twice a week.
Mrs Musk said: “Although this will help increase confidence whilst working closely with pupils, testing is not compulsory and there is a fairly low uptake from my particular school”.
Therefore questions have been raised at members of the public being able to find ways around the rules as they are not compulsory.
Mrs Musk said: “In my view it would have made sense to vaccinate all school staff during February half term to offer a degree of protection”.