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20 April 2020, 09:32
The Department of Health and Social Care has revealed the viral information regarding testing against COVID-19.
A full list of the UK's key workers who are eligible for testing for coronavirus has finally been published.
The list comes as a part of the government's plans to test 100,000 people per day for the deadly virus by the end of the month, and they have revealed which groups of workers are deemed to be the most vulnerable and in need of testing.
At the moment, testing is offered in a different approach by allowing those with symptoms of COVID-19 to undergo it, but new information the Department of Health and Social Care has revealed exactly who will be eligible for testing regardless of symptoms.
Employers of the following workers will be provided with guidance on how to make appointments for their staff to be tested:
- NHS and social care staff
- Police, fire and rescue services
- Local authority staff (e.g social workers)
- Prisons, probation and judiciary staff
- Frontline benefits workers
And the other frontline workers - determined by local or national need – who can get tested include:
- Medical supply chain and distribution workers (including veterinary medicine)
- Testing infrastructure workers (such as laboratories)
- Workers in the funeral industry and coroners
- Frontline Home Office and Border Force staff
- Maritime and Coastguard Agency staff
- Critical personnel in the continuity of energy, utilities and waste networks
- Critical personnel in food and drink production
- Workers critical to the continuity of essential travel and movement of goods
Testing for coronavirus is done at special testing facilities, at temporary drive-through sites, and can even be done at home.
All it involves is taking a swab of the nose and another of the back of the throat, and once the swabs are sent off they're analysed in a lab and then the results come through in around 48 hours.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, the list is not exhaustive and if there is available capacity or suitable need for a test, frontline workers in local and regional areas may also be able to be tested.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am determined to ensure that everyone who needs a coronavirus test should be able to have access to one.
"Today’s expansion of testing will allow even more vital workers to return to the front line.
“Testing is key in our battle against coronavirus and we will continue to prioritise patients, NHS and social care workers but we now have the ability to provide more people with the certainty they need to get back to the front line when it is safe to do so".