Fabricators, extruders and other SME manufacturers are being urged to offer workers regular Covid tests in the latest roll-out of the government’s drive to keep vital industries moving.

Until the end of next month, free lateral flow tests are being offered to companies with at least 50 employees who cannot work from home. The threshold replaces the previous 250 minimum, bringing it amply in reach of many fenestration and other construction employers.

More than 2.5million tests have now been distributed across the country’s larger workplaces. 

Around one in three people who have Covid-19 have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. The government says this expansion of testing will find more positive cases, keeping workers who cannot work from home unknowingly passing on the virus and protecting vital public services.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Employers should regularly test their staff, and this drive across government to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to introduce rapid testing for employees is incredibly important.

“We are already working with many employers to scale up workforce testing, spanning the food industry, retail sector, transport network, and across the public sector too. I strongly urge businesses and employees across the country to take up this offer of rapid testing to help stop this virus spreading further.”The department of health has set up a portal https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests to give employers easy access to the scheme. It stresses that the scheme is for workers who show no symptoms; anyone with symptoms should stay at home and order an individual test https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test