US retailer Kroger is providing Covid-19 testing for free to protect the health of its frontline grocery workers.

The company’s healthcare division, Kroger Health, will make the testing available to associates from this month.

As part of this, workers can get their tests done using self-administered kits and the company’s public drive-thru testing sites, depending on the symptoms or medical requirements.

Kroger senior vice-president and chief people officer Tim Massa said: “At Kroger, the safety and health of our associates and customers remains our top priority during this unprecedented time.

“Our associates have worked tirelessly to provide communities continued access to fresh, affordable food. We are dedicated to providing support and gratitude to our associates across the country.”

Apart from this initiative, Kroger has undertaken various procedures and programmes, including increasing its investment in PPE and improved sanitation practices for a safer working environment.

The company is also investing in healthcare coverage and retirement benefits packages for its associates.

Last month, the company offered the first set of actionable recommendations named as ‘Sharing What We’ve Learned: A Blueprint for Businesses’, for businesses to reopen safely amid the risk of Covid-19.

Kroger and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) have also called on the government to designate grocery store associates as first responders.