UK | COVID-19 | Guidance for employers for a reliable and effective COVID-19 testing programme

As the country facing an acute shortage of NHS COVID-19 testing, more employers are shifting to third-part healthcare providers to conduct regular testing for vulnerable workers and frontline workers. Here is guidance from the government informing you how to ensure your testing programmes are as reliable and effective.

Employers can use virus test results to understand who in their workforce currently has COVID-19 and who needs to isolate following a positive COVID-19 virus test. They can use antibody test results to understand the percentage of their workforce that has already potentially had COVID-19. However, Employers should not treat staff who have had a positive antibody test any differently from staff who do not.

This guidance will help them ensure that their testing programmes are as reliable and effective as possible. It covers:

  • legislation, regulations and best practice
  • virus and antibody testing
  • how to interpret test results
  • next steps after a positive or negative test

Important: Employer and third-party healthcare providers wishing to provide a test to staff must not advise individuals without symptoms to get a test from the limited supply offered by the NHS Test and Trace service, but may offer alternative private provision, in accordance with this guidance.

Sources:Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers published on 10 September 2020 by the Department of Health and Social Care of UK government

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