Update on COVID-19

Update on COVID-19

The Government has now modified its response from Phase 1 (Containment) to Phase 2 (Delay) and in doing so have acknowledged that there is a potential for significant community spread of the Coronavirus within the UK.

We are developing contingency plans for some key areas of impact, namely:

Delay means to spread the peak of the virus over a longer period of time. This will ensure that those who are at a higher risk of medical complications, should they contract the virus, will have access to the medical care required to treat the infection and that the health care system capacity is not compromised.

It is important to remember that this virus will result in mild flu like symptoms with little risk for the vast majority of people. However, those with underlying conditions or those who are elderly are at risk of more severe complications.

The high risk underlying medical conditions are identified as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Abnormally high blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Deficiencies of the immune system

Preventing the spread of the virus is our first priority and with that we are continuing to review our approach. In line with Public Health England and National Health Service the advice given is that If you become unwell with symptoms linked to those of Coronavirus – exhibiting a new continuous cough and/or a fever over 37.7°C, you must self-isolate for 7 days and follow government medical advice which is available from www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ & www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/

What do we mean about self-isolation?

  • Try to keep at least two meters (three steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions
  • Ask friends, family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them
  • Sleep alone if possible
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Try to stay away from older people and those with long term health conditions
  • Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Think about a bathroom rota if a separate bathroom is not available, if the isolated person is the last to use the facilities, they should ensure that they thoroughly clean the bathroom themselves after use
  • Use separate towels from anyone else in the household
  • Wash crockery and utensils thoroughly with soap and water; dishwashers may be used to clean Crockery and cutlery.

During self-isolation you should NOT:

  • Invite visitors to your home or allow visitors to enter.
  • Go to work, school or public areas.
  • Use public transport like buses, trains, tubes or taxis.

Travel

During this time of pandemic, you should carefully consider if you really do need to travel abroad. It is recommended that non-essential travel is deferred. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice is constantly under review, so that it reflects the latest assessment of risks to the British people, further information can be found here www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office

Business Travel

Whilst the movement of people within the United Kingdom has not been restricted we can all do our bit to try and protect ourselves and stop the spread of the virus – we advise that you carefully consider the reason for your visits and look at deferring your planned visit or holding the meeting remotely via Skype or Teams platforms.

Prevention

These preventative measures still remain the same and are proven to be effective.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.

As the situation changes, we will continue to review and provide further updates in line with Government guidance.

If you have any further concerns or queries, please contact your local HR Representative.