In the hope of ensuring that football can continue, AFC Fylde Football Club have introduced a twice-weekly lateral flow testing programme for all its employees.

Subsequent to the temporary suspension of the National League North campaign, AFC Fylde have invested in an internal rapid testing programme that will see staff tested twice a week. The aim is to provide protection and confidence to employees in the workplace and help identify infection in asymptomatic individuals.

Not only is employee wellbeing at the forefront of this investment, but the Football Club is also deeply convinced that internal lateral flow tests should be supplied for all Clubs with ‘elite’ status to allow the safe continuation of fixtures.

AFC Fylde Chief Executive, Jonty Castle said: “Throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of our employees has been our number one priority. In conjunction with the strict protocols we have enforced within the workplace, the rapid testing programme is another important tool in our drive to keep AFC Fylde staff safe, as well as giving ourselves the best possible chance to maintain fixtures and ensure the safe resumption of football in the National League North.

“We strongly believe that this should be implemented across the whole of the National League system, subject to funding from the governing body. In the grand scheme of things, the expenditure to lateral flow test our players and staff is minimal; and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all National League members when I say that this would be a welcome introduction for Clubs operating at this level.

“We saw at the beginning of January how the EFL and Professional Footballers Association (PFA) came together to introduce twice-weekly lateral flow testing for all 72 clubs, and we are adamant that if we are to share the ‘elite’ status with the English Football League, we too should be provided with a suchlike programme.”