Please Note: All information was correct at time of writing on 21 October 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.
With the increase in coronavirus cases, it’s important to ensure your business is COVID-secure and you can guarantee the safety of your employees and other persons who visit your premises.
This article explains what to do if an employee reports that they have COVID-19 symptoms, what to do while they’re waiting for their tests results, and the steps to take if your business is contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service.
Please note: this is guidance for businesses based in ENGLAND. For those based Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, please refer to the relevant government advice.
Employees with symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend work and they should instead inform you that they have symptoms and must self-isolate.If an employee develops symptoms while at work, they must immediately leave the premises and go straight home to self-isolate.Employees with symptoms should then be encouraged to take a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. There are a few test options available.The simplest way to get a test is to book a visit with an NHS Test and Trace testing site or, depending on when the employee developed symptoms, a home testing kit can be ordered.It’s important for those getting a test to be aware of the timescales that apply as to when this should be carried out:
Just because an employee has symptoms of COVD-19 does not necessarily mean that your business needs to close. However, such employees will be encouraged to alert people they have been in close contact with in the 48 hours prior to symptoms onset. If any of those close contacts are co-workers, they should raise this so that you can consider alerting those co-workers yourself. Co-workers will not need to isolate unless requested to do so via the NHS Test and Trace service (or public health official) but you should ask them to:
It’s important for businesses* to assess the possible close contacts such as visitors and customers to support the NHS Test and Trace service and minimise the transmission of the virus. Information you need to gather includes:
You can only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:
You can’t get a free NHS test unless you have symptoms, have been asked to by your local council, live in England and have been told to by your hospital, or are taking part in a government pilot project. This applies even if:
* Certain businesses and venues such as hospitality, leisure, and tourism services are legally required to display an NHS QR code poster on their premises. This enables those businesses to collect contact details of their visitors or customers when they scan the code. Customers and visitors may alternatively provide details on a log/visitor book held by the business.
For the full list of businesses that are legally required to display the poster along with more information on gathering and maintaining contact details, click here.
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