A government plan to test 100,000 critical workers every day to stop Covid spreading has been branded “hopelessly inadequate” – because it will exclude 99 per cent of workers in critical roles.
From Monday, 100,000 critical workers will be required to take daily lateral flow tests supplied via their workplace. But union the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) has pointed out this amounts to just one per cent of the 10.6million critical – or key – workers in the country, based on figures from the Office for National Statistics using the government’s own definition.
Amid a national shortage of tests, Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that the government “would provide 100,000 critical workers in England with free lateral flow tests to help keep essential services and supply chains running.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said it was “hopelessly inadequate”.
“Key workers do their vital work in teams,” she added. “Surgeons and nurses need cleaners and porters. Food supply needs producers, warehouse staff, drivers, and retailers. Ministers must explain who is left out, and what they should do if they can’t get tested.
“The prime minister has known about the shortage of tests for weeks. It beggars belief that he is doing so little, so late.”