The Government has introduced a number of temporary COVID‐19 measures from 30 November in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK:
- Close contacts of suspected Omicron cases will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and legally required to self‐isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status or age
- Face coverings must be worn on public transport and in shops
- Everyone entering the UK from abroad must take a PCR test within 48 hours and self‐isolate until they receive a negative result.
FIS Chief Executive Iain McIlwee said:
New restrictions do not have significant impact on what we legally have to do in the workplace, but are a reminder to be careful and to consider reinforcing the use of facemasks and ensuring that regular testing is taking place. Beyond the safety of people, which must always be at the forefront of a business leaders mind, this is about protecting our businesses in a time of severe skilled worker shortages.
The changes were discussed at the latest industry call with Construction Minister Lee Rowley this week, and construction sites are urged to continue to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. The Site Operating Procedures remain available as a reference document and the Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart has been updated in line with the new rules. The CLC is currently reviewing its guidance on the Use of Face Coverings in Construction following publication of the detailed Government guidance yesterday.
The Government has confirmed that the measures will be reviewed in three weeks’ time and we will keep the guidance updated.
CICV Forum has revised its free good practice guide for construction professionals, containing advice on self-isolation.
It doesn’t hurt to revisit signage to remind people on site FIS, with the help of CICV has produced a Mask for Task, Cover for Covid poster.
The Government has announced that everyone who is currently eligible for the COVID‐19 booster vaccine can now book from three months after their second dose and all adults aged 18 and over will be offered a booster by the end of January. Whilst the majority of the UK population is vaccinated, there are a number of issues that employers need to be aware of and FIS Associate Member Citation has updated its practical guidance on developing and implementing a vaccination policy for staff, which covers whether a policy is required, recording vaccination status, and making it mandatory for staff to be vaccinated.