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Those who cannot work from home urged to get tested regularly for Covid-19

People who cannot work from home and still need to travel to their place of work are now able to get regular rapid Covid-19 tests at testing sites across Lancashire.

The aim of the regular testing is to help keep essential workers safe by identifying those who are carrying the virus but are not showing symptoms, and could be unknowingly spreading the virus to their colleagues or to the wider community.

The testing is not yet available to the general public and is specifically for those who must still travel to work but have no Covid-19 symptoms. The testing sites are in place in all 14 districts of Lancashire.

Angie Ridgwell, chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum, said: "It is estimated that around one in three people may not show symptoms but are still infectious and could unknowingly pass on Covid-19 to colleagues or loved ones. It is vital that we identify these people and break the chains of transmission. This will ensure that the people of Lancashire who cannot work from home are protected at work and that businesses can continue to operate safely.

"If you cannot work from home and your workplace is not signed up to Lancashire's workplace testing programme, please get tested regularly for Covid-19 at your nearest site."

Businesses across the county can also register for Lancashire's workplace testing programme, so they can set up on-site testing facilities where staff can be trained to carry out testing on a regular basis.

A range of employers across the region, such as BAE Systems Air and Pendle Engineering have already started workplace testing with successful results.

Chris Smith, Managing Director at Pendle Engineering, said: "We didn't make the testing mandatory as we wanted to give our staff the choice to take part. However, all of our staff members agreed to take part, which tells us that our colleagues really care about one another. It's not so much about having the test yourself, but more about protecting everyone around you, and that's great to see as a company leader.

"So far we've had no positive test results, which is even better as it tells us that our workforce is doing its best to follow the guidelines outside of the workplace, too. I would 100% recommend taking up the Covid-19 testing programme – it's a no-brainer!"

Employers and businesses can find out more about workplace testing and register their interest online https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus_/testing

Details of testing sites can be found in the links below:

* Lancashire: (under Testing for people who can't work from home' and then 'Where can I get a test') https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/coronavirus_/testing

* Blackpool: https://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Campaigns/Coronavirus/Getting-tested.aspx (under 'Symptom Free Testing')

* Blackburn with Darwen: https://www.blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/test-trace-self-isolate/smart-testing-further-information

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