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England Covid testing changes could hit low-paid workers, leaked memo warns

Exclusive: Health Security Agency chief set out risks of PCR test requirement for £500 isolation payment in December

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The head of the UK Health Security Agency raised concerns about low-paid workers being disadvantaged by changes to the Covid testing regime in England, as they would still need a PCR test to access financial support for isolation, a leaked internal memo shows.

The memo from Dame Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UKHSA, also highlighted a greater risk of false negatives for those on lower incomes forced to go to a testing centre to ensure they received the £500 Covid test-and-trace support payments.

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