The End of all Remaining Covid Restrictions in England

Date posted: 24th February 2022


The Government announced on Monday 21st February the phased ending of all remaining Covid restrictions.

 

From Thursday 24 February:

  • People who test positive for Covid will no longer be legally required to self-isolate, but they will still be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with others for at least five full days
  • Routine contact tracing will end so fully vaccinated close contacts and those aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to test daily for seven days
  • Self-isolation support payments for people on low incomes who test positive for Covid will no longer be available
  • Covid provisions for increased statutory sick pay will apply for a further month (to end March)

 

From 1 April:

  • Free mass testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic for the general public will end and will instead be targeted towards the most vulnerable
  • People with Covid symptoms will be asked to exercise personal responsibility when deciding whether to stay at home, until then they are still advised to do so
  • Current government guidance on Covid passports will end and it will no longer recommend venues use the NHS Covid pass

So what does that mean for businesses?

You may have staff and vulnerable workers who have concerns about the diminishing restrictions, so invite them to discuss concerns with you and see how you can allay their concerns.  Give consideration to still having good hand hygiene and good ventilation in the workplace, this is good practice for any germs that come about.   Encourage vulnerable workers to get the booster in the spring when they are available.

If you have a policy whereby you ask staff to complete a Lateral Flow Tests (LFT’s) before attending work, free tests will not be available from 1st April, so you need to decide as a Company if you are going to pay for them.  However, you cannot force employees to take a test.  Communicate your decision.

After 1st April people are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility as they would flu symptoms.  Any staff off sick with Covid symptoms should follow the company’s notification process set out in your Sickness Absence Policy and keep employers up to date with their absence. Employees can self-certify for the first 7 consecutive days of absence, thereafter a medical certificate (Fit Note) should be obtained from their GP.

Record sick absences as usual and carry out return to work interviews, ensuring your people are fit to return to work.

Follow your Sickness Absence policy with regard to pay.  If you just pay SSP for sickness absences, remember there are three waiting days.  Self-isolation payments will cease, but the Covid provisions for SSP can still be claimed for a month.

If you require further guidance, please contact Kingswood Group HR team on 01245 204450 or mail us at hr@kingswoodgroup.org

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