Pub supply chain's plea for more tests and result passports

Russell Evans of Bullards (inset) on why more testing is needed in the hospitality supply chain

Russell Evans of Bullards (inset) on why more testing is needed in the hospitality supply chain - Credit: Archant/Proviris Solutions

A gin distiller has called for the hospitality staff to be given access to more regular testing options to provide the sector with a safety net as it reopens.

With the date for pubs reopening pencilled in, every piece of data counts, according to Russell Evans, chief executive of Norwich's Bullards Gin. 

He currently has staff working flexibly out of his distillery in the city's Crystal House, but said: "I'd be very keen on getting our staff tested as regularly as possible both here and at the pubs which we own but do not run ourselves. 

"I just think the more confidence these businesses can have when it comes to reopening, the better. We need to do it gently and based on data so that we don't find ourselves in a situation where we end up being shut down again." 

And Reepham-based Proviris Solutions has come up with a solution for exactly this reason, creating a coronavirus lateral flow test which gives results within 15 minutes. 

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The business, lead by Dr Bobby Ahmed, has also built a digital platform showing verification of a negative test result. 

Co-founder and chief executive of Proviris Solutions, Bernie Williams said: “It’s important to get things moving as soon as possible.

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“Digital Health Passports such as the ProvirisPass could soon become a way of life, enabling businesses to reopen safely and staff and customers to feel safe. A member of staff will simply scan the app QR code as customers arrive and allow them to enter the building following confirmation that the person or persons have been vaccinated or received a negative test result within the five-day window.”

Mr Evans added: "I think there will be some people who say it feels a bit Big Brother to have one of these passports when things start to reopen. 

"I would say that sensible members of the public would realise that some sacrifices do need to be made, and people are willing to do it if it means getting back to a sense of normality. 

"We've got a deadline in sight now and I think people are really missing the simple things like having a drink with a friend in a beer garden."  

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