On 21 February, the UK government announced the plan to end remaining coronavirus restrictions in England and for us to learn to live with COVID plans.
This includes the removal of the legal requirement to self-isolate from 24 February. For employers in Scotland and Wales the links are provided below.
The Black Mountain will send a further communication regarding living with COVID later this week, once the government and ACAS information and guidance has been reviewed.
However, for now, we are sure that employers will be asking about what their responsibilities are now and what they will continue to be, so the HSE have published the following article in relation to keeping your workforce safe and everyone’s obligations.
It also has details of advice from public health bodies and other government departments on requirements that aren’t enforced
by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Planned ending of restrictions in England
Please see GOV.UK Guidance for further information.
There is separate guidance for those who live in Scotland and Wales.
Controls to reduce risk
You must control the risk and review and update your risk assessment. The following wvorkplace controls remain:
- Adequate ventilation
- Sufficient cleaning
- Good hand hygiene You must continue to consult your workforce on health and safety matters, talking to workers and their representatives helps to reduce risk. You can check the latest GOV.UK guidance. There is different guidance in Scotland and Wales. Reducing contact for workers You can continue to reduce the risk of transmission by taking measures to limit the number of people your workers are in contact with, so each person works with the same, consistent group. UK government guidance on working safely provides further information and advice on these measures covering a range of different types of work.
You should make sure the measures identified by your risk assessment take account of the public health regulations and guidance for the nation you are working in.
Please refer to your relevant guidance:
Advice from public health bodies and other government departments
The following guidance from public health bodies and other government departments covers matters that are not enforced by HSE, including:
- Face coverings
- Workplace testing
- Testing and contact tracing, including updates on COVID-19 variants
Vaccinations The NHS is currently leading the COVID-19 vaccine programme. There is Acas advice on getting the Coronavirus vaccine for work. Separate guidance applies for the vaccination rollout programmes by the NHS in Scotland and Wales. Face coverings Face coverings are a public health protection measure that can help reduce the transmission risk from COVID-19. They are not classified as personal protective equipment (PPE) and are therefore not covered by health and safety legislation. We have a page explaining the difference between face coverings and surgical face masks. For England, read about the latest on face coverings and where to wear one on GOV.UK. Separate regulations and guidance apply for public and workplace use of face coverings in Scotland and Wales. Workplace testing The respective governments’ public health departments lead on workplace testing, HSE is not responsible for producing guidance on testing programmes. Please refer to your relevant guidance:
Businesses should ensure that workplace testing is carried out safely and control measures are in place to manage the risk of COVID transmission during the testing process. There is Acas advice on testing staff for coronavirus.
Testing and contact tracing
HSE does not have a role in establishing or enforcing the different testing and tracking approaches across the UK.
In England, you can find information on NHS Test and Trace service in the workplace and advice on ensuring workers self-isolate where necessary.
There is information on testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus to find out if they have COVID-19. You can find details of how separate information and guidance apply in Scotland and Wales.