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Food industry Covid testing rolled out to support sector

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An image of root vegetables on a stall

There has been blanket coverage of yesterday’s announcement of new targeted testing for certain workplaces - with the food industry prioritised, as part of the government’s close engagement with the sector.

Pieces have appeared throughout national press, in The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, the Guardian, the I, Financial Times, Daily Express and multiple others.

Defra’s Secretary of State, George Eustice, has appeared in multiple broadcast pieces this morning, speaking to BBC Breakfast, ITV, BBC Radio 4, Sky News, Times Radio and others, to outline the details of the new measures.

The government held a roundtable with supermarket leaders yesterday (22 July) to outline the plans, and to reiterate the ongoing commitment to support the resilience of the food supply chain.

As part of the announcement, daily contact testing will now be rolled out to critical workplaces in the food supply chain, so that contacts who would otherwise be self-isolating can instead take daily tests. The move will allow daily testing for staff to take place so they can continue their vital work to supplying food for the nation.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

Food businesses across the country have been the hidden heroes of the pandemic. We are working closely with industry to allow staff to go about their essential work safely with daily testing.

The last 18 months have demonstrated that we have a highly resilient food supply chain. There are sufficient food supplies in the system and people can and should shop as normal.

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