Coronavirus update – Living with COVID-19

On 23rd February 2022, the Government released updated guidance on Covid-19 and we are already seeing many employers now changing their policies to reflect the government’s guidance. Below is a summary of what has been announced.

From 24th February 2022, the Government have:

  • Removed the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test. Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
  • Ended the requirement for fully vaccinated close contacts and those under the age of 18 to test daily for 7 days and have removed the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.
  • Ended self-isolation support payments and national funding for practical support. The medicine delivery service will no longer be available.
  • Ended routine contact tracing. Contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate or take daily tests.
  • Ended the legal obligation for individuals to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.
  • Revoked The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations.

From 24th March 2022 the Government will:

  • Remove the Covid-19 provisions within the Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations.

From 1st April 2022 the Government will:

  • Remove the current guidance on voluntary Covid-status certification in domestic settings and no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS Covid Pass.
  • Update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with Covid-19 should take to minimise contact with other people. This will align with the changes to testing.
  • No longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
  • Consolidate guidance to the public and businesses, in line with public health advice.
  • Remove the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider Covid-19 in their risk assessments.
  • Replace the existing set of ‘Working Safely’ guidance with new public health guidance.

The changes recommended that individuals with coronavirus stay at home rather than requiring them to self-isolate is something which is likely to lead to potential conflicts with your workforce.

FREE Compliance Check 

For a limited period, we’re offering a no obligation ‘health check’ of your company’s staff handbook and Covid policies to ensure compliance – contact Sarah Collier, Partner & Head of Employment.