Demand for PCR testing of employees by their employers has “sky-rocketed” as office returns approach, one test provider has said.
Vida Care, which provides PCR test results in two hours, said it is already carrying out rapid PCR testing across the pharmaceutical, food, meat and dairy sectors, schools and airlines.
The company said employers are now introducing mandatory PCR testing to speed up the phased return to office working.
“Employers have given up waiting on the Government to solve the problem of how to manage the safe return to offices when the law prevents them from asking their employees about their vaccination status,” said Conor Kelly, chief executive of Vida Care.
“The only way to prevent unvaccinated staff spreading Covid-19 when offices reopen is to introduce mandatory PCR testing. We can test an employee and provide a result within two hours and the demand for this service has sky-rocketed,” he said.
Vida Care says it has conducted over 20,000 PCR tests to date, reducing the wait time for a result from 24 to two hours.
“The PCR test is more reliable and accurate than rapid antigen testing. It used to take 24 hours to obtain a PCR test result. We have reduced that to two hours,” Mr Kelly said.
“This is a game-changer for employers and for anyone who needs a test for Covid-19. It makes PCR testing as convenient as rapid antigen testing.
“Employers are also unwilling to fully rely upon the success of the national vaccination programme to protect their workforce. They recognise that it is possible for employees to be vaccinated, to be asymptomatic and to transmit the virus. They want an added layer of security,” he added.