Amazon starts testing UK staff for variants

Amazon is testing its front-line staff in Britain for coronavirus variants.

It will then feed the data to public health officials - including in hotspots where a strain first found in India is spreading fast.

The retail giant opened testing labs in the UK and the U.S. last year to provide voluntary testing for staff.

And is now expanding its capabilities to test for variants in Britain.

Aided by a rapid vaccine rollout, the UK is on the verge of reopening its economy after months of lockdowns.

But the variant first found in India, now known as Delta, has spread, including in areas where Amazon has its lab and some fulfilment centres.

The company told Reuters it was open to offering the same service in the U.S.

And did not rule out making its testing programme available to the UK public in future.

Amazon's testing is available to around 30,000 front-line staff in Britain, working in warehouses and logistics departments.