Is your business COVID-safe?
- Lateral flow testing for businesses
- Haringey COVID-Safe Business campaign
- NHS Test and Trace
- Expansion of COVID-19 testing
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Further guidance
The government has recently released the roadmap to open up our communities and restart our lives, but we need to remain vigilant and continue to protect our sectors and the workforce as we go forward. That means taking all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection in the workplace.
Employers have a vital role to play in this next phase, minimising the spread of infection among those who cannot work from home by introducing regular testing for asymptomatic staff.
Now is the time for employers to adopt the workplace testing programme, with the tests being provided free of charge.
We do not yet know the impact of the vaccine on the transmission of the virus, and it may still be possible to pass on COVID-19 to someone else even after vaccination.
This makes testing of asymptomatic employees in the workplace all the more important, as it allows organisations to identify potential outbreaks and respond at speed, keeping staff safe and preventing further disruption.
Providing the tests is quick and easy, and results are received rapidly. Employers should be aiming to test staff members twice each week.
The programme of free tests is open to all employers of over 50 staff and will run until 30 June, but you had time to register until 12 April. Further testing options are also available for organisations falling under the 50-person threshold.
You can email Covid-19.WorkforceTesting@defra.gov.uk if you have any queries.
We have created a dedicated poster with all of the up to date information on testing sites - which can be distributed and displayed in communal areas:
We want to support businesses to operate in a COVID-safe way and we have created the COVID-Safe Business Campaign to do just this.
Find out more on our dedicated webpage:
The NHS Test and Trace service forms a central part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, which seeks to help the nation return to normal as soon as possible for as many people as possible in a way that is safe.
It is vital that employers and businesses play their part in the NHS Test and Trace programme to slow the spread of the virus.
The NHS Test and Trace service is designed to support businesses and economic recovery by:
- providing testing for anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus, so that if they have been tested positive, they and their household member know to continue to self-isolate
- helping to stop the onward spread of the virus in the workplace and wider society, so that fewer people develop coronavirus and have to self-isolate
- enabling the Government to go further in safely easing or lifting lockdown measures, as far as it is deemed safe to do so, thereby allowing the nation to return to normal as quickly as possible
Certain venues, including venues run by local authorities, will now be legally required to display NHS QR posters to support the NHS Test and Trace app.
This includes all venues from the following sectors:
- leisure and tourism
- close contact services, and
- local authority venues.
See a full list of businesses required to display the QR code posters (external link).
Patrons will not be legally required to download the app but businesses including, but not limited to, cafes, bars and hairdressers, will be legally required to display the QR posters. Businesses will also need to run a logbook for people who either don’t have or are unable to download the app.
For more information for businesses, including guidance on generating the QR code posters, visit the NHS website (external link).
Further guidance is also available at GOV.UK (external link).
Everyone who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus. People can register for a test on the NHS website (external link).
Essential workers (external link) are prioritised for testing. If you are an employer of essential workers, then you can offer tests to the following:
- Any self-isolating members of staff who have coronavirus symptoms
- Member of staff does not have symptoms, but members of their household do, they can get tested
- Any of your employees who work in the NHS or care homes, regardless of symptoms
An employer referral portal is available to make the process as easy as possible. Employers can upload spreadsheets containing the details of essential workers who need to be tested into the secure employer referral portal. The system will generate invitations to the essential workers via text and email. Essential workers then log into the system and book an appointment directly. Employers should email firstname.lastname@example.org to be given access to the employer referral portal.
Haringey Council has collated information from a number of businesses offering to supply PPE. We are not endorsing these products and recommend that you look in detail at all the options available to help inform any purchase decision.
Disposing of PPE
Guidance on how to dispose of your personal or business waste (external link), including face coverings and PPE, during the coronavirus pandemic has been published.
Key details include:
- Provide extra bins for your staff and customers to throw away their waste face coverings and PPE used for social distancing, and any other additional waste, such as takeaway packaging and disposable tableware
- Make sure that staff and customers do not put face coverings and PPE in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities
- Make sure bins are emptied often so they do not overflow and create litter
- You can put used disposable face coverings and PPE in an ‘offensive waste’ collection (yellow bags with a black stripe), if you have one
- Check with your waste contractor if there is anything else you need to do
- Guidance for people who work in construction
- General business safety advice
- Taking contactless payments
- GOV.UK - Working safely during coronavirus (external link)
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