Anyone over the age of five who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 – a temperature, cough and the loss of the sense of taste and smell – is now able to secure a test for coronavirus. Essential workers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland can apply for priority testing through GOV.uk. These tests are prioritised over those made available to the wider public through the NHS.
In his letter to the Secretary of State for Health, Lorcan Mekitarian, Chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association, said: “These individuals produce, pack and distribute the products being used by cleaning operatives working in hospitals, care homes, schools and other essential locations, including offices being prepared to get the economy moving again.
“The products include essential items such as clinical waste sacks, gowns, aprons, gloves, masks, hard surface sanitisers and hand sanitisers, non-woven wipes, tissue and other related products.
“Without priority testing, manufacturers and distributors may be affected by employees unknowingly infecting colleagues. The consequence could be an impact on the ability of the companies to manufacture and distribute the essential products.”
He concluded: “We are delighted cleaning has been acknowledged as an essential service and those who work in the industry – cleaners, and the distributors and manufacturers of the products they use – are starting to get the recognition they deserve. We ask you to build on this recognition and specify employees of manufacturers and distributors of cleaning and hygiene products as eligible for priority testing for the coronavirus.”