Construction workers with Covid-19 symptoms are now eligible for testing

Construction workers who are showing symptoms of Covid-19 are now eligible for testing as announced by Matt Hancock last week.

He said: “From construction workers to emergency plumbers, from research scientists to those in manufacturing, the expansion of access to testing will protect the most vulnerable and help keep people safe.”

Onsite staff in England can register for testing alongside NHS workers and other crucial roles. The Department of Health and Social care has updated it’s eligibility guidance to reflect the new policy.

“anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)”- Gov.uk

The Unite union general secretary, Gail Cartmail, had written to Matt Hancock calling for construction workers to be offered testing.

“Many construction workers continued to work through the lockdown and furloughed workers are being phased back ahead of other sectors… Operating advice for building sites based on CLC guidance states that construction workers can work face to face within two metres of each other as long as it is for ‘15 minutes or less where possible’.”

She says that there is evidence of confusion and persisting with the 15-minute relaxed rule will heighten concerns about spreading Covid-19 into communities and workers’ homes.

“For testing to be effective within the key worker group construction workers must be included.”

Any site worker showing symptoms can refer themselves online for a test or construction firms can apply by email to arrange testing for multiple employees.