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articles | 23 June 2020

10,000 more free tests for lockdown exit

A government-sponsored coronavirus testing scheme for 10,000 employees who returned to work under phase two and three of lifting lockdown is underway, said the Health Ministry on Monday.

So far, 373 tests have been carried out and 1022 appointments made for samples to be taken, it added.

The latest testing scheme was set up for client-facing employees in businesses that resumed operation on 1, 9 and 13 June.

The random tests are being carried out island-wide and cover only a percentage of the employees of a given business according to the number of staff.

Appointments must be made by the employee and not the managers or owners.

Tests are paid for by the government following a decision of the cabinet on 3 June.

It follows similar programmes introduced when sectors of the economy opened up as authorities continue to keep a close eye on possible infections.

More specifically, the latest scheme covers people working in libraries, museums, archaeological and historical sites, hotels, shopping malls, catering establishments with indoor facilities and gyms.

Meanwhile, seven testing schemes have already been completed.

According to the Health Ministry, 151,531 tests have already been carried out under government schemes.

Schemes carried out so far:

  1. 20,000 people employed in the food and beverage chain of supply.
  2. 2,000 tests for people working in groceries, mini-markets, and homes for the elderly.
  3. 20,000 tests for people in the retail and construction sectors
  4. 20,000 tests for students and school staff.
  5. 10,000 tests for employees at hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons and tattoo parlous
  6. 753 random tests among the general population
  7. 200 tests on immigrants at reception centres

Another four schemes are currently ongoing:

  1. 820 test for people working at children’s play centres and recreational centres.
  2. 10,000 tests for employees who returned to work under phase two and three post-lockdown
  3. Tests for people belonging to special groups referred by their GPs through public health centres (there is no limit).
  4. Health authorities continue to randomly test arrivals at airports which do not currently have a time limit. The goal is to have around 300 tests a day.

Source: Financial Mirror

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