The government has published detailed new guidance for employers on the regulations and legal obligations relating to running internal workplace coronavirus (COVID-19) testing programmes, i.e. those which are outside of the NHS Test and Trace service. The guidance covers:
- legislation, regulations and best practice surrounding the testing process, including compliance with the GDPR
- selecting and procuring test kits
- the difference between virus and antibody testing
- what the test results mean
- next steps after a positive or negative test, including communicating results to staff and what an employer can and cannot do with a result
- contact tracing.
The guidance emphasises that the NHS Test and Trace service is for those who are displaying symptoms of coronavirus or who have been advised to take a test by a medical practitioner or public service, so employers must not advise any staff without symptoms to get a test from the NHS Test and Trace service. However, they may offer alternative private provision in accordance with this guidance.