14 May 2021
Eligible businesses within specific public-facing sectors can now register to participate in the Community Testing (Lateral Flow Test) programme. This will offer quick, easy, and accessible testing for COVID-19, on a weekly basis.
Following the launch of the new COVID-19 Testing strategy, test kits, training and guidance materials are now available for businesses who register, to help keep their doors open and their customers and staff safe.
Businesses in any of the following sectors are now eligible for the programme:
- Agriculture and fisheries
- Wellbeing, cosmetic and beauty
- Public transport, freight, postal and delivery services
- Early Years
- Children's social care
- Veterinary practices and animal husbandry
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat said: "Regular testing remains an important tool in the management of COVID-19. Until the pandemic behaviour of this virus has waned, we must achieve and maintain heightened levels of protection and prevention.
"The Vaccination Programme has been successful in protecting against severe illness and mortality, but it was never designed, and can never be, a stand-alone measure. The business sectors have been identified as being at higher risk of spread, because of their close working with the public; regular testing will give confidence to businesses that they are doing what they can to protect the community."
Regular testing will support business continuity and security as existing public health measures and restrictions continue to ease through the Reconnection Roadmap.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf said: "The provision of these tests means that businesses can feel confident that the risk of COVID-19 is minimised within their workplace. Through identifying isolated cases, we can prevent further transmission and outbreaks, and in the long run, save businesses from needing to temporarily close. This programme offers mutually beneficial reassurance for businesses and their staff on the one hand and customers and visitors on the other."
Programme Director, Rachel Williams said: "The LFT programme has been planned with the needs of businesses in mind. It means that more people will be able to be tested in the workplace, to be delivered at a time that suits their business.
We will fully subsidise the cost of the LFT kits and deliver them directly to the workplace.
"Throughout this pandemic we have worked together to keep our community safe. This new testing programme will help us continue to pursue safe reconnection, through weekly testing, with results available in just 20 – 30 minutes."
Businesses can access advice and information online where they can follow a link to a secure portal for registration. Upon registration, businesses will be approved and sent the first month's supply of test kits for their staff.
Step-by-step guides and instructions are available to download, as well as videos on YouTube. For more information please contact the Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 735 5566.