Omicron Coronavirus Measures In England

On Saturday 27 November 2021 Boris Johnson set out a series of Omicron Coronavirus measures to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus Omicron variant, as part of the measures face masks will be compulsory in England from Tuesday 30 November 2021 and all travellers entering England will be required to take a PCR test after two cases of the Omicron variant were detected in the country.

UPDATES

The Omicron Coronavirus measures will be reviewed every 3 weeks and I will update this page as more details are announced.

This page was firstly published on 29 November 2021 and the last update was 19 January 2022.

The government made a further announcement on Wednesday 6 December 2021 when vaccine passports were introduced in England, office workers were advised to work from home and the venues where face masks are mandatory was extended, the announcement was referred to as Plan B. A third announcement was made on Wednesday 19 January 2022 which removed most of the measures introduced to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.

Work From Home

From Thursday 20 January 2022 people will no longer be asked to work from home. If you have people working from home you should speak to them with a view to making arrangements for returning to the office.

We continue to recommend that you notify your staff that if by coming into work, they are confirming that they don’t have symptoms and are not under a legal duty to self-isolate. If you use regular lateral flow testing within your business you should also remind your employees that they should not attend work if their latest was positive.

Wearing Face Masks

From Thursday 20 January 2022 the wearing of face masks will no longer be compulsory. People visiting enclosed or crowded places will be encouraged to wear a mask.

NHS COVID Pass

From Thursday 27 January 2022, venues and events will no longer be required by law to check that all workers and visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or that they have an exemption. Organisations can continue to use the NHS Covid pass on a voluntarily basis.

Travellers Arriving In England

The announcement made on 19 January 2022 made no changes to the rules around travellers arriving in England

From 4am Sunday 9 January, those who are fully vaccinated on arriving in England will be asked to take a lateral flow test at any time after arrival and before the end of the second day after their arrival, the day of arrival is day zero. If the test result is positive they must self-isolate and take a PCR test.

Those who are not fully vaccinated on arriving in England will be asked to take two PCR tests for Covid-19, the first by the end of the second day after their arrival and second on or after day eight with the day of arrival as day zero. They must also self-isolate for a full 10 days after the day of arrival with the day of arrival as day zero.

  • If the day 2 test is positive, the individual must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day they took the test is day zero. There is no need to take the day 8 test.
  • If the day 2 test is negative, the individual must take the day 8 test and continue to self-isolate.
  • If the day 8 test is positive, the individual must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day they took the day 8 test is day zero.
  • If the day 8 test is negative, the individual can stop quarantine on whichever is later:
    • day 10 – day 0 is the day you arrived in England
    • when you receive the day 8 test result

If you have employees who are due to go abroad, have conversations with them about how they will manage the period of self-isolation. Temporary work from home should be considered and were working from home is not possible, look at offering alternative positions, such as extending the period of annual leave, agreeing to a period of time off in lieu, or authorising unpaid leave. You could cancel the period of holiday, if you cannot reach an agreement about how quarantine will be managed, to do this you would need to provide the same number of days’ notice as the length of the holiday.

If you have employees who are on holiday you will need to contact them to let them know they need to take a PCR test by the end of the second day after their arrival and must self-isolate at home until the provide a negative result.

Employees are not entitled to statutory sick pay for periods of quarantine, unless there is a contractual provision for this.

The devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales confirmed on Saturday evening they will apply the same measures on international travel as announced by Johnson.

Always ask employees who are travelling abroad which Country or Countries they are visiting and how they intend to manage the period of self-isolation and quarantine if the Country is re-categorised before they return to the UK.

Reassuring employees that you are on top of things when it comes to their safety will help contribute towards increased motivation and satisfaction, reduce their fears and can also help reduce the risk of grievances or tribunal claims.

If you have any questions, please call me on 0114 360 0626 or simply email me at enquiries@kea-hr.co.uk.

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Omicron Coronavirus Measures