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Covid-19 testing for agents available within days - government

A trade body says it’s been contacted by the government explaining how agencies can get Coronavirus asymptomatic testing for staff.

The Guild of Property Professionals says the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has revealed two routes which agencies of different sizes can take to get staff tested. 

Iain McKenzie, chief executive of The Guild, says: “The letter states that there are two routes that those within the property sector can take for testing.  

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“Where a business has more than 50 employees, workplace testing will be providing to employers. Workplace testing has already been in place in a number of sectors for some time, however, this has now been expanded further to all business with the minimum required number of staff.”

He continues: “If the business has less than 50 employees - which will likely be most independent estate and lettings agents - community testing will be provided through local authority sites. According to the letter, all local authorities are expected to go live with community testing by the end of February.”

McKenzie says the MHCLG also states that the long-term plan would be for home testing to be rolled out as another option for workforces, and adds: “At this point in time the delivery model for home testing is still being worked out, but with many agents based at home with staff members working remotely, home testing will be another easy and flexible option to ensure the spread of the virus is contained and both the agents and public are kept safe.”

The community testing will cover small or local businesses, sole traders and self-employed people within a profession that requires them to leave their home.

McKenzie adds: “As a sector that works within other people’s homes it is important for agents to make use of the community testing provided by the government to ensure that they keep vendors and buyers safe. According to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, roughly a third of people who have coronavirus do not show symptoms, which is why asymptomatic testing is so vital to minimising the spread of Covid-19 and breaking transmission chains.”

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