Farm businesses reminded to register for free Covid testing

Farming businesses with a minimum of 50 employees have been reminded to register for government-funded Covid-19 tests available until the end of March.

The free lateral flow device (LFD) test kits allows for rapid workplace testing of workers who are unable to work from home.

The NFU has been pushing for testing for farmers and workers in agriculture to help the smooth flow of the UK's food supplies.

Defra is now inviting employers with more than 50 employees to establish asymptomatic testing sites (ATSs) in the workplace.

The sites allow both farming employees and contractors to access LFDs and receive rapid Covid-19 results.

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts said the union strongly welcomed the government's move.

“It has always been important during times of crisis to keep workers safe and our shops and fridges full," he said.

"It’s great that Defra and DHSC have secured this testing for those food businesses, including farmers and growers where they have over 50 employees.

“We will continue to work with government on reducing the need for those workers testing negative to self-isolate, and for smaller businesses to access mass testing facilities.”

The free lateral flow device (LFD) test kits will be available until 31 March 2021.

What support is provided?

The government provides support in a number of ways for businesses interested:

• A limited period of free LFDs shipped to one location

• A clinically approved protocol (standard operating procedures)

• A guidebook to explain how to set up and run a safe and effective testing site

• On-demand training for the operatives that will process tests and run the site

• A GDPR-compliant digital solution to report results to Public Health England.

Source: Farming UK