What are the new Covid testing rules for critical workers and who will have to swab daily?

Credit: PA

New Covid-19 testing rules for some workers are being rolled out on Monday in a bid to tackle the disruption being caused by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Here are all the details you need - and information on whether the changes impact you.

What are the new Covid testing rules?

From Monday, January 10, workers in specific key industries are required to take daily coronavirus lateral flows tests for five weeks.

Those impacted need to swab once a day for five days of the week.

Workers included in the new guidance will be sent a test kit for every working day.

Who will need to test daily?

Around 100,000 key workers will be impacted by the new rules. Among the industries impacted are:

  • Chemicals

  • Civil nuclear

  • Energy

  • Space

  • Data infrastructure

  • Essential broadcast infrastructure

  • Telecoms

  • Essential water and wastewater services

  • Nationally critical food distribution and processing

  • Veterinary medicines

  • Highly specialised roles in supporting critical transport infrastructure

  • Labs

  • Test kit warehouses

  • Wholesale healthcare distributors

  • International crisis response

  • Emergency Services

  • Law enforcement

  • National and border security

  • Critical defence activities

  • Prisons

ITV News understands those working in supermarkets and public transport will not be included.

Are any other new rules for England coming in?

Earlier, Boris Johnson had confirmed England will stay under Plan B Covid rules for at least three more weeks - with the review date set for January 26.

But on January 19, he announced in the Commons that England will be reverting to Plan A, with no more need for Covid passes or masks by law.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland tightened Covid rules after Christmas but will also begin relaxing restrictions.

Why have the new rules on Covid testing been introduced?

The Omicron Covid variant has spread rapidly across the UK in recent weeks, with a record number of cases regularly being reported each day.

The soaring number of cases has left business disrupted, or vulnerable to being so, as a result of mass Covid-related staff shortages.