Mass Covid testing will be offered to all car dealerships with more than 50 staff as the government rolls out its programme.
The Health Secretary has urged employers from all businesses to ‘regularly test their staff’ as officials make an effort to ‘normalise’ testing in the workplace.
Testing will ensure the safety of those who cannot work from home by identifying asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19.
Cambria Automobiles boss Mark Lavery recently told Car Dealer that he was already testing all his staff for Covid-19 once a week.
The new government programme sees ministers expand its testing programme by offering access to lateral flow tests, which produce results in less than 30 minutes, to all businesses with more than 50 employees.
Previously, only firms employing 250-plus staff qualified for the rapid testing regime.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘We have again asked everyone to work from home. But we know that for some this is not possible, which is why the workplace rapid testing programme is so important.
‘Employers should regularly test their staff, and this drive across government to raise awareness and encourage more businesses to introduce rapid testing for employees is incredibly important.
‘When you consider that around one in three people have the virus without symptoms and could potentially infect people without even knowing it, it becomes clear why focusing testing on those without symptoms is so essential.
‘We are already working with many employers to scale up workforce testing, spanning the food industry, retail sector, transport network, and across the public sector too.
‘I strongly urge businesses and employees across the country to take up this offer of rapid testing to help stop this virus spreading further.’
According to government statistics, 112 UK organisations have so far signed up to take part in mass testing, with employees being tested across 500 sites.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: ‘We want to be able to reopen the economy and recover our way of life as soon as it is safe to do so, and large-scale workplace testing will complement our work in getting the British people vaccinated.’
Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘Extra workplace testing is welcome but so much more needs to be done to make workplaces Covid-secure including improving ventilation and upgraded PPE (personal protection equipment) standards.
‘This is even more important when the most recent data shows hundreds of outbreaks in workplaces since the start of January.’