Businesses and organisations in the Shaftesbury area that employ fewer than fifty people can now request weekly COVID-19 tests.
This service is being offered to firms with employees that cannot work from home.
Public Health Dorset say there are prioritising applicants who are supporting vulnerable people or providing essential services. These include care providers, voluntary sector groups working with vulnerable people, religious groups and essential tradespeople. Small businesses and service industries involved in food production, processing and retail may also apply along with transport providers, delivery drivers, pre-school nurseries and community volunteer groups.
Dorset Council staff have been offered these lateral flow tests since January. The council says that around one in three people who are infected with COVID-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it. Broadening testing to identify those showing no symptoms will mean finding positive cases more quickly, and break chains of transmission.
Public Health Dorset says essential businesses can now register their interest here.
There will be fewer firms and charities in North Dorset currently operating with more than 50 people. Those organisations need to apply to a separate government scheme here.