Rachel is urging all businesses in the town to sign up to the Government’s free COVID-19 workplace testing programme.

As part of the Government’s roadmap to cautiously lift restrictions, businesses of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 employees, can register to order free lateral flow tests for their employees.

Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms, which means they could be spreading the virus in workplaces without knowing. Rapid testing detects cases quickly – in under 30 minutes – meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, breaking chains of transmission.

Regular testing could be the difference between a workplace being able to stay open and operational, or needing to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Businesses have until March 31st to register for the Government’s workplace testing scheme, which will remain free until the end of June. All those who can work from home should continue to do so.

Rachel’s plea to businesses urging them to sign-up to the scheme comes as Redditch’s infection rate is one of the highest in England and is on the list of the Government’s areas of concern.

The Director of Public Health for Worcestershire has previously said one of the driving factors behind Redditch’s high infection rate is workplace transmission.

Due to the make-up of the town’s economy, Redditch has more workplaces which have been allowed to remain open and therefore more key workers are leaving home each day for work.

Rachel said:

Redditch is topping the charts for all the wrong reasons with our infection rate being one of the highest in England.

“Public Health experts have told us one of the driving factors behind our high infection rate is workplace transmission. I’m therefore urging all businesses in Redditch to sign up to the Government’s free COVID-19 workplace testing programme.

“I know the vast majority of businesses in our town have put in place excellent COVID Secure measures, but we must still do everything we can to ensure key workers are protected as much as possible. Once again I’d like to thank key workers for everything they’ve done throughout this pandemic.

“No one wants to see Redditch on the list of the Government’s areas of concern, so to ensure we get off this list we must all continue to follow the rules which we should all know by now.”

An online portal has been launched for businesses to find out more about offering rapid workplace testing. Businesses will be provided with all the information they need to plan and deliver their testing programme. Businesses should visit www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests to sign up.