Covid-19 ‘testing pods’ have appeared in Dartford, offering a glimpse of what working office life may look like once the pandemic is over.
Biotech company Prenetics have this month rolled out the 10 new testing venues at sites across the UK, and has partnered with IWG, the UK’s largest workspace provider, to target their offices in the early trials.
The Hong Kong-based company runs the Covid testing operations for the Premier League, and has set up some of the first pods at Dartford’s Admirals Park off from Crossways Boulevard.
The pods are available for the public and office users alike to book a government-approved test, either lateral flow or laboratory tests (called PCR tests) at a cost of up to £110.
Results are then delivered via mobile app and forwarded to Public Health England and Track and Trace.
Whilst the country is currently advised to work from home unless necessary, the government is offering free workspace testing up until June to all businesses if they sign up by March 31.
Avi Lasarow, Chief Executive of Prenetics UK, said: “We are delighted to be deploying our proven systems developed for international travel, businesses, and for our elite sporting bodies with IWG, starting with its largest brand Regus.
“This initiative coincides well with the UK government’s offer to provide free onsite testing services for individuals at work.
“We will be happy to partner with these initiatives through our tried and tested expertise and services, with the consequent uplift in efficacy rates we would expect from the 70s – as experienced in the Liverpool universal testing initiative to the high 90s.”
Prenetics says users will be able to take advantage of a ‘full end-to-end digital journey when testing’, with all steps accessible from a mobile phone.
“While Prenetics already serves many major corporates in the UK directly, and provides Covid-19 testing solutions to large clients such as The Premier League, this new partnership with IWG will enable it to support the crucial return of employees back to the workplace,” the company said.
“Many SMEs do not have the resources individually to support such a programme to include Health & Safety requirements, and training for employees to become clinical experts on swabbing correctly.
“The Prenetics Covid Test Pod installations will resolve this issue at a stroke, with trained staff on hand to help and guide every step of the way.”
IGW are the largest workspace provider in the UK, with over 3,300 locations including in Dartford where pods have been set up.
Simon Loh, UK Chief Operating Officer of IWG PLC, said: “Prenetics is well recognised as one of the leaders in Covid-19 testing, is pioneering health passport deployment which may in time accommodate vaccination data, as well as offering some of the highest efficacy LAMP-based swab tests. We look forward to supporting our customers and people through simple, cheap, on-site testing, which we expect will be rolled out over the months ahead, using the well understood lateral flow systems.”