Protect your workforce with free rapid COVID-19 testing

News article

Keep your colleagues and customers safe this winter with regular rapid testing for your workforce

Businesses across Northern Ireland are introducing rapid COVID-19 testing to support a safe return to the workplace. Rapid COVID-19 tests - also known as Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests - provide a result within 30 minutes. It’s recommended to test twice a week. Employees who take a test first thing in the morning will know their result before leaving the house.

Regular rapid testing can provide reassurance for customers and employees and shows your business is committed to taking the right steps to keep them safe.

One in three people who are infected with coronavirus will experience no symptoms. Regular rapid testing helps to reduce the risk to your business by identifying these cases early. This includes the most infectious cases that are likely to spread the virus more widely.

How to set up rapid testing
Your business can quickly set up a workforce testing scheme, just submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and the Department of Health will contact you to provide advice on what type of scheme will work best for your business.

Employees can either take tests onsite or they can collect tests to take at home through a collection system.

Employees of small businesses with less than ten staff or people working at home can order tests for free home delivery online or collect from over 550 locations across Northern Ireland.

Using rapid tests
Rapid tests are 99.9 per cent accurate. For every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out, there is less than one false-positive result.

Rapid tests should only be used by those with no symptoms of COVID-19. Rapid COVID-19 tests are available for free to businesses in Northern Ireland. Find out how your business can access tests.

It’s important to report the result from your lateral flow test in all cases regardless of your result to help the health service monitor the virus most effectively.

Anyone with a positive lateral flow test result should self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test immediately. 

PCR tests are available at testing sites across Northern Ireland and can be booked at GOV.UK.

First published 6 October 2021