Further guidance has been released today for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including Covid-19 and for workplaces.
To summarise the Guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including Covid-19 is:
- If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as Covid-19, and you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities, you should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. This should be the case until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you no longer feel unwell.
- You should avoid close contact with anyone you know who is at a higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with Covid-19 and other respiratory infections, especially those whose immune system means that they are at a higher risk of serious illness, despite vaccination.
The guidance if you have had a positive Covid-19 test result is:
- Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took your test. The advice for those aged 18 and under is to try and stay at home for 3 days.
- Work from home if you can
- At the end of 5 days if you have a high temperature or feel unwell, you should follow this advice until you feel well enough to resume normal activities and no longer have a temperature.
- As some people will be infectious for up to 10 days you should avoid meeting people at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they are infected with Covid-19 and other respiratory infections, especially those whose immune system means that they are at a higher risk of serious illness, despite vaccination.
The guidance for reducing the spread of respiratory infections, including Covid-19, in the workplace states:
- You should know which symptoms to look out for
- Employees should follow the Guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection including Covid-19 and employers may wish to consider how best to support and enable their workforce to follow this guidance as far as possible.
- Consider actions to reduce the spread of respiratory infections, including Covid-19 (such as encourage and enable vaccination, let fresh air in and maintain a clean workplace)
- Consider the needs of employees at greater risk from Covid-19, including those whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19.
- The requirement for every employer to explicitly consider Covid-19 in their health and safety risk assessment has been removed. Employers may choose to continue to cover Covid-19 in their risk assessments.
- Employers should continue to comply with the requirements for cleaning, ventilation and welfare facilities in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 or the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 to control occupational health and safety risks.
As employers what should you consider?
- That now testing is not free it may be unlikely that you will know if someone is Covid-19 positive.
- If you want employees to test when they have a respiratory illness, consider supplying the tests.
- Encourage employees not to attend work if they feel unwell or have a high temperature
- If a job role can be done from home whether you will allow employees to work from home if they have a respiratory illness
- Those who are at greater risk from Covid-19 including those with weakened immune systems and pregnant employees and risk assess where appropriate.
- That if an employee is ready, willing and able to work and saying they are well enough to work, and you prevent them from doing so you would need to pay them full pay.
- Consulting with staff on their views
All guidance for pregnant employees and Covid and those with weakened immune systems has been withdrawn and you should follow the guidance above.
Links to guidance