Chorley Group managing director Adam Turner has thanked The British Army and Lancashire County Council for their help in getting a twice-weekly COVID-19 test procedure up and running for its entire retail operation.
A letter to all employees of the Lancashire-based Hyundai, Kia, MG and Nissan franchisee revealed that the programme of lateral flow testing would commence on February 18 in a bid to identify and self-isolate any asymptomatic member of staff as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter said: “Now that we are seeing an increase in the ‘mutant’ strains getting closer to home, we cannot afford to let our guard down and this is just the next logical step after masks, hand washing and maintaining your social distance.”
It added: “The precautionary measures are going to be with us for a while yet, so for anyone who will be attending the sites, testing will be essential to open the route to getting back to a more normal way of life.”
Taking to LinkedIn to share news of the new lateral flow testing measures at Chorley Group – a process with can provide test results in just 20 to 30 minutes – Turner said that he was “very happy to send this update and proud of the team along with great work from (group HR manager) Gillian Howells to get our asymptomatic CV-19 testing procedures sorted".
He said: “From initial contact with Lancashire County Council & support from the army we have now conducted mass testing for our teams and trained a group of volunteers to be our in-house testers.
“Mandatory Weekly/Twice-weekly testing for all our teams starts on the 18th Feb at every Chorley Group dealership and the light at the end of tunnel gets that bit closer.”
Earlier this week the UK Government announced that businesses with more than 50 employees can now access COVID-19 lateral flow tests which give results in less than 30 minutes.
Previously, only businesses with more than 250 employees qualified.
Health secretary Matt Hancock is urging both businesses and employees to take up the offer and said that firms should be regularly testing staff.
Ministers are also discussing plans to vaccinate millions of people under 50-years-old as part of a ‘jabs at work’ plan operated by roving vaccination teams.
The car retail sector should be keen to embrace the developments after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) this week appealed for the re-opening of showrooms to car buyers “as soon as it is safe to do so”.
In a series of interviews this week, retail group bosses from across the UK voiced concern that a failure to re-open car showrooms in-time for the March number plate change will impact jobs and the economy, claiming "politicians have no understanding of business”.