John Lewis rolls out NHS Covid-19 testing for staff

The British department store chain becomes the first major retailer to roll out the voluntary service, which will automatically update the government’s testing database

British retailer John Lewis has rolled out a NHS Covid-19 testing scheme for its staff.

Following a successful pilot last month, which tested 1,000 employees three times a week, the employee-owned retailer will implement the programme to 40 John Lewis and Waitrose locations in England.

Working with NHS Test and Trace, John Lewis is expected to test around 16,000 staff a week.

“We’re proud to have helped develop and establish a testing scheme that contributes towards the UK’s fight against Covid-19,” said Andrew Murphy, John Lewis’ Executive Director for Operations.

The voluntary service is expected to provide results within 30 minutes, and will automatically be sent to the UK government’s testing database.

Baroness Dido Harding, who is also sitting at the Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, added: “This pilot is one of many which will lay the foundations for the next phase of NHS Test and Trace with rapid, targeted testing which will allow us to identify even more people who may be unknowingly carrying the virus more quickly.

“In addition to the testing taking place in work places such as the John Lewis Partnership, we are carrying out rapid, regular testing in hospitals, care homes, universities and other areas that we value and that we need as a society to stay open and stay safe.”

Yesterday, the UK reported a further 35,000 positive Covid-19 cases and more than 500 deaths.

Meanwhile, high street healthcare pharmacists Boots and John Bell & Croyden have introduced private Covid-19 tests for customers.

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