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In order to be eligible, employers must register by 23:59 on 12 April 2021.

The Government guidance states that if a business is closed, or tests cannot presently be undertaken, employers should still register so they can order tests in the future.

The Government is recommending that “private-sector employers offer their workforce (who are on-site) access to a minimum of 2 lateral flow tests every week”. Three options are suggested for conducting tests:

  1. Utilise the free rapid lateral flow tests and conduct employer-led testing on-site;
  2. Use a third-party private-sector (non-NHS) provider undergoing UKAS accreditation to organise and run testing on behalf of the employer. In this scenario, employers are still eligible for the free rapid lateral flow tests but would need to pay the costs of the third-party provider; or
  3. For organisations in the public and private sector that have fewer than 50 employees, access to testing is being provided through local authorities who are establishing testing sites for those without symptoms within their local areas. ​

Whilst employers may find the guidance provided by the Government useful, it is important to remember that employers ultimately remain responsible for undertaking their own workplace risk assessments and should also refer to any guidance published by the Health and Safety Executive.

Details of how to register for the free tests can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae

You can also find details of Government guidance on the different options for testing here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-guidance-for-employers/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-guidance-for-employers-and-third-party-healthcare-providers

Government information about rapid lateral flow tests is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms#who-can-be-tested

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