May 18, 2020
I have received reports that RMT members are being offered a chance to be tested for Coronavirus – Covid-19 as ‘essential workers’. These tests do not appear to be part of any employer scheme and no discussions have taken place between RMT and any official body, Public Health England, the Department for Transport, the employers or safety regulators. The official Government website includes “public transport staff” which is further defined as:
•              those who keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus response
•              those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass
The testing being offered appears to be for essential workers who have “coronavirus-like symptoms to see if they currently have the virus”.
Your National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee at its meeting on 13th May 2020:
We note the report on file and the testing offer is not one made directly by the employers and that this is a Government ploy to meet their 100,000 tests a day target.
We further note the test is only suitable for essential workers who are currently displaying symptoms of Covid-19 and will not be of any use for other employees.
We await further developments.
Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.
I will keep you updated on developments. Please make the contents of this Circular available to all appropriate members.

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