The Prime Minister has announced that the UK was moving to ‘Plan B’ from Dec 10th with further restrictions kicking in during the following week.
Just to add a little more detail and clarity on home working requirements and daily contact testing, here are the extracts from the Government guidance:
Work from home if you can
Office workers who can work from home should do so from Monday 13 December. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in person. In-person working will be necessary in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries. If you need to continue to go into work, consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage your own risk and the risk to others.
Employers should consider whether home working is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties, or those with a particularly challenging home working environment.
For those who attend their workplace, the Government will continue to provide up-to-date Working Safely guidance on how employers can reduce the risks in their workplace. Businesses should consider this guidance when preparing their health and safety risk assessments, and put in place suitable mitigations.
Another significant change is to replace self-isolation with daily testing regarding the Omicron variant although there is no confirmed date for this change as we issue this update.
Daily contact testing
The Government has announced its intention to replace self-isolation with daily testing for some contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Further details will be set out shortly. Until then, current rules continue to apply and you must self-isolate if instructed to do so by NHS Test and Trace. This remains the law.
Direct Safety Solutions will continue to review our working arrangements and will discuss remote working options with you before any planned visits, limiting the time we spend at your site if necessary. Please inform us in advance of any planned visit if your workplace is experiencing cases.
Our consultants conduct lateral flow tests twice per week and, of course, will not visit if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 on the day.
We encourage you to maintain your COVID-19 control measures, which may include: 2m distancing, where possible, regular cleaning of hard surfaces and shared equipment, providing hand washing and sanitising facilities. Controls against COVID-19 transmission will also protect against other viruses, such as flu and norovirus.
Whilst the facility for employers to order lateral flow tests direct from the Government appears to have been removed, individuals can order home test kits from the following link: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. Lateral flow tests should only be completed by people who are not displaying symptoms, if you are displaying symptoms you should self-isolate and arrange a PCR test