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Business warns that test failures risk jeopardizing the UK economy.



Business leaders have warned that a major flaw in the UK’s coronavirus testing regime is threatening the economy “lame,” and urged ministers to “hold up” the situation.

The testing and tracking system has been overwhelmed by pressure from ministers to persuade more employees to return to work as demand has soared since reopening schools in the UK.

There are widespread reports of people struggling to take the exams in recent days, and as the government prioritizes those who need it most, some people in the UK are now facing significant delays in securing exams.

Business leaders are concerned about the risk of a second national lockdown if testing and tracking systems cannot pinpoint a local outbreak of Covid-19.

Adam Marshall, president of the British Chambers of Commerce, urged the government to “immediately” improve the testing regime to help everyone in need of testing.

“A truly comprehensive testing and tracking program is essential for the UK to manage the virus without the additional containment that neutralizes businesses.


“Continuous delays and lack of testing undermine business, employee and consumer confidence in moments of weakness in the economy.”

Business leaders are concerned that more workers will be forced to self-isolate at home while they or their family members are trying to secure the test or waiting for the results.

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that 63% of those who tested positive in the UK before school resumed in early September received results by the day after they provided cotton swabs. However, by Tuesday, this figure had fallen to 8%, according to data from the government’s Covid-19 dashboard.

One entrepreneur said the management was alive in the difficult situation facing the government. “But people are seeing the news that is growing worries, and the stakes here are really high, so the ministers must understand.”

Matthew Fell, Chief Policy Officer of CBI Business Group, said the situation was “very disappointing” for the company. We had to add an effective testing and tracking system to get more people back to the workplace.

“No one doubts how much effort it takes to get it right,” he added. “The award is to have a faster turnaround in getting people to know where they are and whether they need self-isolation or if they can quickly return to work.”


Craig Beaumont, head of foreign affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said the company has promised a world-class testing and tracking system, referring to what Boris Johnson said in May.

“Quick and comprehensive tracking followed by rapid and comprehensive testing before the vaccine is available is the only way small business owners can resume and remain open,” Beaumount added.

Another business person said that some companies organized their teams into workplace bubbles made up of a certain number of people. “Obviously, if one person shows symptoms, all teams[home]. . . People can’t get tested, so the bubbles don’t come out again,” this person added.

The prime minister said on Wednesday that the government is doing “all of our power” to prevent another national lockdown.

In response to questions from lawmakers, Johnson admitted that the United States currently does not have sufficient testing capabilities.

He repeated the government’s goal of having a laboratory capable of handling 500,000 tests per day in the UK by the end of October. The total laboratory capacity currently reaches almost 375,000 cases per day.

The government said more than 221,000 tests were processed over the 24-hour period reported on Tuesday.

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