Offices could offer coronavirus testing to get Britain back to work after pressure from PM

OFFICES could offer regular coronavirus testing to help get Brits back to work after pressure from Boris Johnson to get staff behind desks.

The Government will urge companies to launch a regular testing drive among their employees to help keep the economy on track if there are spikes of coronavirus through the winter.

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Meetings between business leaders and Whitehall officials over how to roll out the widespread use of mobile testing units in factories and offices around the country, according to the Financial Times.

Employers who have their staff regularly tested could even be allowed to stay open in the event of a local lockdown, a source told the FT.

Director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce Adam Marshall said companies could embrace the idea but only if the Government ensures the cost of tests are cheap.

He said: "We are supportive of the ramp-up of testing if that helps businesses avoid blanket future lockdowns"

A standard swab test currently costs around £100 – which is out of the budget of all but the wealthiest companies such including Formula One, the Premier League and a handful of City of London businesses, who have brought in regular testing.

But the speed at which testing is being developed to enable faster swab results has led to hope costs could plummet and be accessible to more companies.

Acting head of the Institute of Directors Edwin Morgan said: "The big question is who pays for it.

"If larger companies want to do it voluntarily then great.

"If you're a small company, and lots of them still aren't in fantastic shape, then it's a lot harder."

Office buildings around the country have stayed empty since lockdown was introduced on March 23.

The PM's deputy spokesperson said yesterday workers should start asking their employers when they can return to pile pressure onto bosses to get offices "covid secure".

He said anyone who can't work from home should have a "covid secure" workplace they can do their job from.

Matt Hancock is preparing plans for another testing target to get national capacity to 500,000 daily testing in October, and 800,000 by January.

The current level is around 190,000.

 

 

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