end of free covid tests

The End of Free COVID Testing: What You Need to Know As a Business Owner or Employer

From 1st April 2022, free PCR and lateral flow tests (LFTs) offered by the government were withdrawn. With the provision for the last two years enabling you to order a PCR or LFT test if you’re experiencing symptoms, testing has become an embedded part of our mentality around the mitigation of COVID risks to ourselves, our families and wider communities. But with free tests having ended, we want to share all of the key details around LFTs and PCR tests as it stands, and how they feed into your COVID testing programme.

What’s the current landscape around infections?

Positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations have both been rising, with 552,000 positive cases of the virus recorded in the week beginning 21st March, a rise of almost 40% on the week prior, and more pressure being exerted onto an already stretched NHS due to a surge in case numbers.

So with the numbers still rising, and evidence pointing us to the likelihood of an increase in mutations of the virus and variants, why are we seeing an end to free testing now?

Well it’s a great question, and not one that we can really answer. It doesn’t seem like the most sensible decision, but regardless of whether the tests are now available for free or not, they are still available, and they do remain the most effective way to stay on top of this virus.

Furthermore, businesses will be liable to purchase their own testing programme if they wish to continue testing their staff for COVID-19.

Who can still get free tests now?

While free PCR and LFT tests will end for the majority of us, free tests will still be available for the most vulnerable, such as those that are living in care homes, as well as hospital patients.

But I’m a business that wants to keep my staff and customers safe…

There’s a few options to buy tests for your COVID-19 testing programme, but what’s the best option for you?

While there are many providers such as Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy that offer a range of PCR and both supervised and unsupervised LFTs, these do present a viable option for individuals or perhaps even families, but as a business the cost can quickly climb up when you’re buying these tests individually.

Oncologica offer various bigger pack of LFTs for businesses or event organisers, these work out at their cheapest, £1.80 per test, BUT still do rely on you to keep track of how much stock you have, to take control of the reordering process, and knowing exactly who needs to be tested, and how often. This means that your programme becomes increasingly costly, and less effective pretty quickly.

And if keeping your staff and customers safe really is a priority for you in your business then you need to ensure your COVID-19 testing programme is both organised and managed well, and works effectively to mitigate risks of the virus within your workplace.

How can Testbase help?

Of course our COVID tests are priced competitively, and become even more cost effective based on volume (you can find out more about our pricing by using our COVID testing plan configurator tool), but where Testbase really adds value is through the state-of-the-art software which underpins the platform.

We’ve automated everything for you, you don’t need to worry about manually uploading your staff, sending notifications, repurchasing tests or going to great lengths to get a picture of the state of play regarding testing and COVID within your organisation.

Testbase not only provides cost-effective testing for your business, it is a secure, managed platform that means that you can create a testing programme that enables you to bring people back together, in creative and collaborative environments, whilst ensuring that your staff needn’t be worried about potential risks to their health, or the health of those around them.

How does it work?

Your staff and customers will receive a pack of tests and regular reminders when they are due to test. Once the test is completed, they simply upload a photo of the cassette to us and the results will be centrally available to you via our administrator portal.

If you choose to have the tests validated or certified, our team of doctors will promptly review the result submitted to ensure accuracy, before providing confirmation of the resulting actions to be taken.

Once up and running, we can provide an Application Programming Interface (API) to ensure you can integrate and automate actions such as payroll adjustments, workforce rescheduling and workplace access restriction, to ensure minimal impact on your operations.

Are you ready to protect your business and workforce?

If you want to ensure operational efficiency for your business, while protecting yourself, your staff and your customers, find out how we can help you today by using our smart and simple testing plan configurator or call us now on 0333 577 0099.

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