Port operational staff should be included in the list of 100,000 essential workers in Britain who will have access to rapid virus testing on a daily basis.
This is what the British Ports Association is calling for in a press note which stresses the strategic role played by personnel employed in ports and the need, therefore, to carefully monitor the spread of contagion in a crucial sector for the country’s economy.
The U.K. government has yet to publish the precise list of workers considered critical, and the British Ports Association fears that stevedores will be left out of the new testing provisions adopted by Downing Street to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant and to allow companies to avoid staff stoppages due to the inability to carry out testing due to shortages.
The BPA estimates that over 100,000 people are employed in UK ports alone. 100,000 daily tests may therefore be insufficient to cover the number of critical workers that Boris Johnson will most likely identify in the food, energy and transportation sectors, including air travel.
Translation by Giles Foster