Business Improvement Districts are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to support COVID-19 workplace testing and explore ways they can coordinate the provision of tests to businesses in their local areas.
Ahead of high streets reopening across the UK, BIDs met with DHSC on March 24 to discuss how models for asymptomatic testing of workers could be best applied in their BID areas. They discussed how further reach and efficiency of the programme could be achieved with BIDs acting as local hubs or coordinators of access to lateral flow tests.
Testing is a vital aspect of assuring high street users and consumers, giving them confidence in the safety of their experiences in town and city centres.
Businesses across the UK can register to receive free lateral flow tests until 31st March. How testing will be delivered in local areas will depend on the context of local high streets and the businesses situated there. Many local authorities are developing plans for local asymptomatic testing sites (ATS) however where there are no suitable locations for these, home testing may be more appropriate and convenient for local businesses.
Members of The BID Foundation will meet again with DHSC to provide further feedback on future plans. During the pandemic, BIDs have played a vital role in supporting COVID-Secure working practices and the safe reopening of high streets between lockdown periods. This has included communications campaigns to thousands of businesses as well as provision of PPE and signage to local businesses.
Many BIDs are already in discussion with their local authority about how they can support workplace testing plans. The ongoing consultation between The BID Foundation and DHSC will further support that work across the UK and underlines the vital capacity that BIDs provide in supporting resilient high streets.
The BID Foundation hosts a bi-weekly webinar series, regularly hosting guest speakers to discuss various projects and BID related issues.