Alton Towers staff to be trained to carry out rapid Covid tests


Alton Towers staff are being trained to carry out rapid Covid-19 tests on their colleagues and members of the public.

The theme park, which is currently closed due to lockdown restrictions, will be hosting a community testing session for local residents on Friday.

And Alton Towers employees who are currently working will be offered weekly lateral flow tests from January 18.

Workers will be trained in how to use the lateral flow kits – which give a result within 30 minutes – by staff from Staffordshire County Council.

Alton Towers reopened with Covid-19 social distancing measures in July, but was forced to close again in December when the government introduced tougher restrictions.

Francis Jackson, Alton Tower’s operations director, said the theme park wanted to play its part in the fight against Covid-19.

He said: “Alton Towers is very much part of the community we operate in and we want to do everything we can to help keep our staff and the families in our local community safe. Last year wasn’t a year that any of us want to repeat, but with regular testing we hope to move one step closer to reopening our doors and welcoming visitors back in 2021.”

The community testing session for asymptomatic residents will take place at the Crooked Spoon Restaurant, between 10am and 1pm on Friday. Testing is available only for people without coronavirus symptoms who live in Farley, Alton and Oakamoor.

Philip White, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, said: “The tourism sector has been particularly badly hit by this pandemic, so I am delighted that the resort has stepped up to offer testing for both its own staff and people who live in the local villages of Farley, Alton and Oakamoor.

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“We know that one in three people who have the virus don’t show any symptoms, so it is important we identify as many people as possible who may unknowingly have the virus as this will help us break the chain of infection.

“That’s why we are asking everyone who still needs to be out and about in the lockdown to book a regular test and we are also calling on big employers to support us and join Alton Towers by taking part in our Covid testing of Staffordshire’s workforce.

Alton Towers closed again in December

“Testing more people without symptoms, together with sticking to the rules, is our best chance of protecting lives and helping all employers affected by the pandemic get back to business as swiftly as possible.”

Any large employers interested in establishing their own rapid testing programme for their workforce should contact LFTEnquiries@staffordshire.gov.uk for more information.

Local residents can book a slot at the Alton Towers community testing session by visiting https://staffordshire.zipporah.co.uk/TrackAndTrace/





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