Shell North sea workers are to be tested for Covid-19 before they head offshore.
The energy giant confirmed it started preparation to introduce pre-mobilisation testing earlier this month as an “additional protection” for the workforce.
It is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks.
Shell also confirmed an outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this month on board the Brent Charlie platform, which is around 115 miles North East of Lerwick, Shetland.
The first suspected case was confirmed on Wednesday, 7 October. A subsequent 13 workers were flown off the platform, four because they had possible symptoms and nine as a precaution.
Others who left Brent Charlie as part of a normal crew change were later identified as contacts of those displaying possible signs of the virus.
Of the total number of workers flown off the platform since the first suspected case on October 7, either as part of a precautionary removal or normal crew rotation, four went on to test positive for Covid-19.
Shell has now identified an NHS accredited private facility which can be used to test crew before they head offshore, without impacting on any testing required for frontline health workers.
A Shell spokesperson said: “With the rise in infection rates across the UK we are working to manage the impact on our teams and operations through good hygiene, social distancing, pre-mobilisation screening and, where an individual exhibits symptoms, isolation at the facility before safe transportation to their homes. In addition, we trace contacts of any suspected case on our platforms and ensure they also get home safely to self-isolate.
“Earlier this month, we started preparing to introduce pre-mobilisation testing for COVID-19 as an additional protection for all offshore workers on our platforms. We always listen carefully to any concerns from our teams and take appropriate action. Particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, this has been vital.”
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