Businesses and their employees in Preston city centre are being encouraged to take up the offer of rapid coronavirus tests as part of targeted work to reduce infections.
As part of the scheme arranged by the Lancashire Resilience Forum and Public Health England, large businesses are being offered training and support to administer lateral flow tests, which can give results in 30 minutes, in their workplace.
Meanwhile smaller businesses in the city centre who do not have the space or capacity to offer testing are being invited to book an appointment for their employees to be tested at a new site in the Harris from today (Wednesday 20 January).
Tests will be provided by appointment only. Anybody arriving without an appointment will be asked to book online.
Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, said: “We’re proud to offer the Harris to support such an important part of the fight against coronavirus and we’re grateful for the support of the armed forces who have helped to set up this site. It is important staff members working in businesses that have remained open have access to rapid coronavirus testing to ensure their place of work remains safe. Not only will this protect workers, it will also give members of the public confidence that places of business are safe if they need to visit them. It is vital businesses take up this opportunity and help stop the spread of the virus to bring down infection rates and keep us safe.”
Larger businesses who have the space and capacity are being encouraged to provide testing to their employees in their place of work instead of using the Harris. Training and support is being offered to assist with this.
Mark Whittle, Preston City Centre BID Manager, said: “In order to identify and isolate coronavirus cases in circulation it is imperative that businesses engage in local testing. We’re very happy with be working with local government, Public Health England and the Ministry of Defence to encourage essential workers in the city centre to get tested regularly either by establishing a testing regime in your place of work or by using the site at the Harris. We would urge local employers to support their colleagues to take a free, painless, and quick test, to ensure they are not inadvertently transmitting the virus.”
The scheme is available by appointment only to businesses and their employees who are working in the city centre and its vicinity.
Businesses are being asked to book appointments in advance and stick to their allocated slot. Eligible businesses will be contacted by Preston City Council or can enquire directly.