Amazon has announced plans to stop testing its warehouse workers for COVID-19 from July 30 after its safety measures put it on a “path to normal”.
According to a report from The Information, Amazon sent a notice to employees via its internal app informing them that mandatory testing will be scrapped at the end of the month.
Amazon was one of the first retailers to launch a widespread testing programme in its facilities in May 2020, expanding to 50,000 tests per day across 650 sites by the end of last year.
Despite new cases across the US more than doubling over the past two weeks, Amazon said that “free COVID-19 testing is now widely available and our employees have many options available to them, including through health providers and public testing sites”.
While the majority of businesses were able to transition to remote working, Amazon’s reliance on picking, packing and delivery staff meant it needed more in-person staff than ever to meet the staggering pandemic-driven demand.
In October last year, Amazon was accused of being a “threat to public health” after more than 19,000 of its employees contracted the virus.
Despite this Amazon says that its own analysis suggested the infection rate was 42 per cent lower than expected based on infection rates across the US.
According to Amazon, 33,952 of its total 1.37 million workers would have contracted the virus if infection rates matched the US average, instead of its 19,816 it recorded between March 1 and September 19.