Workplace Covid testing is now available for more companies in England for staff who cannot work from home during lockdown.

All business with workers in England who cannot work from home can now access lateral flow tests, which can produce results in less than 30 minutes. This includes private sector organisations in the food, manufacturing, energy and retail sectors, and public sector employers such as job centres, transport networks, and the military. NHS Test and Trace will support organisations to deliver the asymptomatic testing by supplying the kits, and offering guidance and training for delivery.

If your business is interested in workplace testing, you must register on or before 12 April 2021.

Workplace testing options include:

  • Option One: employer-led set-up (‘DIY’)
  • Option Two: use a third-party provider
  • Option Three: community testing
  • Option Four: rapid home testing

If your business is interested in setting up your own test centre or if you have any further questions please email before Monday 12 April.

Please note, you should not use this service if you or your employees have symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home.

→ Option One: employer-led set-up (‘DIY’)

Employers can set up their own on-site testing programmes, outside of that which currently exists with the NHS Test and Trace service.

For more information, register to order coronavirus tests for your employees here.

For supplementary advice read Annex A.

→ Option Two: use a third-party provider

Employers who would like on-site testing but would prefer a private provider to organise and run the testing on their behalf can partner with one of the providers on the list of providers: general testing.

Employers will need to pay for this service provision, but are still eligible to order the free government testing kits by registering to order workplace coronavirus tests. The onus falls upon the employer to ensure that they order the test kits.

In partnering with a third-party provider, responsibility still lies upon the employer to ensure that they register to order a sufficient number of test kits.

→ Option Three: community testing

For organisations in the public and private sector that have fewer than 50 employees, access to testing is through local authorities who are establishing testing sites for those without symptoms within their local areas. ​

If you are an organisation with fewer than 50 employees, a sole trader, self-employed or a member of the general public, visit your local authority’s website to find out more about their testing services.​

→ Option Four: rapid home testing

In the next major push for the Government’s workplace testing programme, all employers will now be able to offer their employees free, rapid and regular testing that can be taken at home. Home testing is available for businesses with more than 10 employees who cannot offer on-site testing.

Businesses across the country will be eligible to order the home test kits online to distribute to their employees. These self-test kits will be picked up by staff from their employer with clear instructions about how to take the test. Staff will then complete the home test in the normal way, before reporting their results to the NHS using the provided address.

Your business must register interest by 12 April to access free tests.

Find out more

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can my employees use the city’s non-symptom testing centres?
→ Liverpool City Council currently have SMART non-symptom test sites across the city for use by the general public. Our sites are currently primarily for key workers.

What type of tests are being used?
→ Lateral flow tests (LFTs) are rapid turnaround tests that are processed at source (i.e. on your site) without any need for sending samples to a laboratory. Staff can receive training to carry out the processing themselves. Results are ready very quickly – from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Results are received by text or email.

How do I register for a Government Business Covid Testing Support pack?
→ More information can be found here: Once registered, pack will include instructions on how store, administer and dispose of the LFT tests as well as test kits and associated PPE.

Does Liverpool City Council offer any support to Businesses with LFT Testing?
→ Yes. LCC are offering optional support by way of additional Training and Quality Assurance (QA) activity to allow businesses to benefit from the experience that LCC have gained in the delivery of the SMART Testing project since December 2020. This training is offered to increase confidence and provide support to business staff that will deliver the LFT testing activity. Training sessions are in groups of up to 12 attendees. A fee of £250 – £500 per training group will apply dependant on training location. If you are interested in receiving more information about this additional guidance, please email:

Do my employees have to have a test?
→ Absolutely not. Testing is completely optional. It is hoped that people will recognise the benefits of being tested to reduce the spread of the virus. Tests would be available to all employees. Employees under 18 will need parental consent.

What happens if an employee tests positive?
→ You will receive your result from NHS Test and Trace, via text message and email. If you test positive using a ‘lateral flow’ test you must self-isolate and book a PCR test to confirm if you are infected with the virus – the message you receive won’t automatically advise you to do this. You can do this at Liverpool CCG – Confirmatory-Pcr-Test. This is because there is a possibility that some people who test positive with LFT are ‘false positive’ and the gold standard PCR test will identify these. If the confirmatory PCR test result is negative, then you will no longer be required to self-isolate, and your contacts will no longer need to quarantine. You will still need to adhere to the national restrictions in place at that time e.g. lockdown restrictions.

If the confirmatory PCR test comes back positive, then you must continue to isolate for 10 days since your initial ‘lateral flow’ test. Everyone in your household will be a ‘close contact’ and must also self-isolate for 14 days. Contact tracing will be initiated through the NHS or local contact tracing team and other close contacts will be advised to quarantine for 14 days.

What happens if I test negative?
→ You will continue to follow the preventative measures currently recommended for stopping the spread of the virus.

How does it work with the NHS Test and Trace app?
Positive results from tests will be collected by NHS Test and Trace and published as part of the daily case numbers, including how many positive cases are detected with this method of testing. NHS Covid-19 app users should input their results into the app.

Find out more