• All essential workers with symptoms of coronavirus can now be tested thanks to increased capacity – enabling them return to work if results are negative
  • This includes council workers such as those working in social care, benefits payments or with vulnerable people
  • Local Government Secretary has written to all councils thanking their staff and setting out how they and their households can get tested

Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has today (1 May 2020) written to all councils in England thanking them for their efforts in the battle against coronavirus and reminding them of their eligibility for testing.

With substantially increased testing capacity, the government has extended testing to a wider group of essential workers and members of their households.

This means that council workers with symptoms of coronavirus are now able to be tested for the virus, and can return to work if the results are negative.

Those eligible in the local government sector include:

  • Social care staff such as social and care workers – with social care workers in care homes able to get tested with or without symptoms
  • Those delivering essential public services, such as benefits payments
  • Those working with vulnerable children and adults, victims of domestic abuse, homeless people and rough sleepers

Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP said:

The unsung heroes in local government are supporting communities across the country during the pandemic, from helping vulnerable people to ensuring our bins are collected.

We’ve expanded the national testing programme to prioritise essential workers such as council staff who are keeping the country going.

Booking the test has been made easier through a new online system.

Essential workers can book a test if they are experiencing symptoms – a high temperature or new continuous cough – at one of the more than 42 drive-through testing centres across the country, or receive a home testing kit.

Test results from the drive-through sites will be sent out by text within 48 hours and within 72 hours of collection of the home delivery tests.

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