The prime minister made a series of announcements on February 21st concerning the way the country continues deal with covid
What is changing?
The main changes announced include the following –
From 24 February 2022 –
- Removal of mandatory self-isolation for positive COVID cases, although advice to stay home will remain.
- Removal of the guidance recommending regular asymptomatic testing with lateral flow tests.
- Removal of the requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.
- Removal of the recommendation for fully vaccinated close contacts to test daily for 7 days.
- Removal of routine tracing of close contacts of positive cases.
- Removal of self-isolation support payments.
- Removal of the obligation on workers to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.
From 24 March 2022 –
- Removal of provisions which allow payment of statutory sick pay from day one of absence for those who have COVID.
- an impending removal of the SSP Rebate Scheme for smaller employers (date to be clarified)
From 1 April 2022 –
- Removal of free lateral flow tests for symptomatic and asymptomatic people.
- Removal of free PCR testing for all but vulnerable people and those in hospitals and high-risk settings.
- Removal of guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification and the recommendation for certain venues to use the NHS COVID pass.
- Removal of the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments.
- The “Working Safely” Guidance will be replaced with new public health guidance.
According to yesterday’s information, further Government guidance is to be provided although it appears that this may not be made available until 1 April 2022.
Employers will still be required to ensure their place of work is safe for staff especially for those who are vulnerable, this may include use of masks and sanitiser and allowing employees who are able to continue to work from home.regular risk assessments and continual review of your health and safety policies are recommended.