Port and supply chain workers should be included in priority testing scheme to keep us trading

Following the announcement about critical worker testing at Tuesday's (4 January) Downing Street coronavirus briefing, the British Ports Association has stressed the need for ports and supply chain staff to be prioritised, where needed.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said that the government has identified 100,000 critical workers who will be able to take daily lateral flow tests, staring next week.

Commenting, Richard Ballantyne, the Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, the national trade body for ports which represents 86% of UK port freight activities around the UK, said: “This is a welcome announcement but we want to see port and supply chain workers included in the government’s critical lists.

"Whilst we don’t want to see any groups forced into testing, there are a number of regions where the availability of test kits are limited and certain ports will want to to be included in the government’s scheme.

"Ports in the UK handle 95% of our international trade, including importing of around half the food Britain consumes. The sector has worked tirelessly to keep the country open during the pandemic and as well as trade it also enables essential fuel and energy sectors to keep the lights on.

"It is right therefore that the sector is included in the government’s resilience planning, especially for priority operational staff”.

Source: British Ports Association