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Thursday 21 October 2021

Food sector groups secure approval for rapid antigen tests

14th October 2021 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Foodstuffs North Island, Countdown and Mainfreight are among more than 25 companies that have received the green light from the government to introduce rapid antigen testing into workplaces this month.

Some of the country’s largest companies sought approval last week from the government to allow them to import 300,000 rapid Covid-19 tests in an effort to provide “an additional layer of health protection for employees and helping to ensure workplace continuity”.

Following sign-off from the government, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Health, the coalition of businesses today confirmed a $3m-plus order for 300,000 Abbott PanBio Covid-19 Ag Rapid tests.

“At a time where the challenge of Delta in New Zealand is greater than ever, it’s been renewing for everyone to be able to work together across government and business to enable this additional testing solution,” FSNI chief executive Chris Quin said.

Chris Quin

“We need to do everything we can and this is a positive step in helping to further look after our teams in stores and in the supply chain New Zealanders depend on.”

Mainfreight managing director Don Braid said the logistics company had successfully introduced rapid testing in worksites in 26 countries around the world.

“We intend to replicate regular testing across our 83 sites in New Zealand, in the interests of our people and customers,” Braid added.

Rapid antigen tests are used widely overseas as an additional tool to curb the spread of Covid-19, providing results in around 15 minutes. They generally cost about $10 to $15 each.

The tests would not take the place of existing PCR tests for border workers or those who were experiencing symptoms.

The companies taking part in the trial include: Mainfreight, Foodstuffs North Island, Genesis, Hynds Pipe Systems, Mercury, Summerset Group, Wellington Airport, Christchurch Airport, Sky NZ, Queenstown Airport, Spark, Vodafone, The Warehouse Group, ANZ Bank, Contact Energy, Fulton Hogan, Countdown/Woolworths NZ, Fletcher Building, Carter Holt Harvey, Meridian Energy, DHL Express NZ, Air New Zealand and Auckland Airport.



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