Latest UK pest control and management news for professionals

13 January 2021

Free Covid-19 lateral flow tests for asymptomatic key workers

In an effort to overcome the pandemic, the UK government has announced free Covid-19 lateral flow tests (LFT) for people without coronavirus symptoms. 

The tests can return results in 30 minutes and will be prioritised for essential workers who cannot work from home. 

What is a Covid-19 lateral flow test and how can pest management professionals get one?


What is a lateral flow test? 

A Covid LFT uses a swab from a patient's nose or throat to quickly determine if they are infected with coronavirus.

They are useful due to their quick turnaround, and are fairly simple to administer.

They are less accurate than a PCR test, which are reserved for those people who have symptoms, but return results much quicker. 

You can read about the difference types of testing online.

Read more 

Around one in three people who have coronavirus never show any symptoms, but that does not mean they are not infectious.

These tests can help identify people who have high levels of the virus who do not have symptoms, which will be useful for those workplaces where employees cannot work from home during the pandemic. 

Not having symptoms but carrying the virus is known as being asymptomatic, and identifying asymptomatic cases can help “break the chain of transmission” according to experts. 

Although the usefulness of these tests in returning accurate results has been in question recently, a trial in Liverpool found that rapid testing helped cut transmission of the virus by 90%. 

How can I get a free test?

From this week, rapid testing is being made available to local authorities across the country. 

You should get in touch with your local council for the latest information on the rollout of lateral flow tests in your area.

Pest professionals have been confirmed as essential workers by the goverments in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Most people working in pest management cannot work from home, which makes you eligible for receiving a free LFT. 

Martin Rose-King, from BPCA member company Bounty Pest Control, commented:

"This is great news - we've been asking for this for months. Pest controllers, as key workers, have to enter homes and businesses to deal with public health pests on a daily basis.

"While we have PPE and multiple procedures in place to ensure we're Covid-secure, having the ability to access lateral flow tests is another helpful tools to help keep each other safe.

"Each of our technicians can now access these tests regulary at our local testing site. We are grateful to our local county council and to the military for enabling the process."


If you're a BPCA member wiith a question about Covid-19 testing, please get in touch and we'll try to find the answer for you.

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