“Good news for workers”: Swann

Thousands more employees and employers across Northern Ireland will be able to benefit from regular workforce testing for Covid-19.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 4:46 pm

Health Minister Robin Swann announced on Friday important plans to expand the current asymptomatic testing programme for workforces.

At present, the programme is available to employers in designated sectors with more than 50 employees who cannot work from home. This includes key sectors in the private and public sectors, including local councils. The programme will be extended from next week to all private sector employers with more than 50 employees who cannot work from home.

Minister Swann said: “This expansion is good news for workers, for employers, for public health and for the Northern Ireland economy. Workforce testing is an important weapon in the fight against Covid-19. Up to one-third of people who have coronavirus are asymptomatic and by rapidly identifying and containing any asymptomatic cases, we can reduce the spread of transmission, alongside other protective measures such as handwashing and social distancing.

“There has been a great deal of interest in this programme from employers who want to work with us to keep their staff and customers safe, and to keep their businesses open. The Department has received around 230 expressions of interest so far. Given the success of this first phase, I am very pleased to be opening up the programme to all private sector employers with more than 50 employees who cannot work from home.”

Further information on www.health-ni.gov.uk/workforce-testing