Covid: Workers in key industries to take daily tests, Boris Johnson sayson January 4, 2022 at 5:43 pm

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Boris Johnson says 100,000 critical workers will be tested daily to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Woman taking Covid test

Image source, Getty Images

Around 100,000 critical workers are set to take daily Covid tests in order to reduce the spread of the virus to colleagues, Boris Johnson has said.

It will be for key industries including food processing, transport and the border force, the prime minister said at a Downing Street briefing.

He will recommend England sticks with “Plan B” restrictions such as working from home where possible when Cabinet ministers meet on Wednesday, he added.

The testing will start from 10 January.

As daily UK Covid case figures exceed 200,000 for the first time with the spread of the Omicron variant, the PM said people who believed the pandemic to be over were “profoundly wrong”.

He said this was a moment for caution but also that the UK’s position differs from previous waves, as Omicron is milder than previous variants and he pointed to the mass rollout of booster vaccines.

He said the country had a chance to “ride out this Omicron wave without shutting down our country once again”.

“We can keep our schools and our businesses open and we can find a way to live with this virus,” he said.

Mr Johnson acknowledged the weeks ahead would be “challenging” with “some services disrupted by staff absences”. But he promised to “fortify” the NHS to withstand pressure.

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