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Advice for businesses

Winter Strategy update

Updated 10 November 2021

The Island is seeing an increase in cases of COVID-19 as we move into the winter months. As set out in the Government's Winter Strategy, the colder months mean more risk from the impact of COVID-19 and other winter illnesses to all Islanders. We all continue to play an important role in supporting protective measures for the Island's workforces to avoid disruption to business continuity and our economy, whilst ensuring we protect our health service provisions and vulnerable over the coming months.

Vaccination continues to play a vital role in reducing severe illness and death, but it cannot be the only precaution we take. As we see an increase in case rates, Ministers have announced a number of measures that form Step 1; Islanders have shown that we can come together to follow voluntary advice when infection levels have increased.

It is strongly recommended to all businesses and organisations that:

  • COVID-19 workplace risk assessments are updated to prepare businesses in the event of cases of COVID-19 in the workplace, considering practical measures that can support business continuity
  • staff members are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu as soon as possible. It is not too late to get first and second doses and begin to receive protection. Seasonal staff are also entitled to receive vaccination
  • workforces know their COVID-19 status, by increasing the frequency of lateral flow testing (LFT) to twice weekly (through workforce testing or home testing programme)
  • visitors and customers are encouraged to know their COVID-19 status using LFT, for example before attending organised events, gatherings and in COVID Safe Spaces, such as health, community and education settings
  • staff in any setting do not come to a workplace if they are symptomatic with COVID-19 and arrange a PCR test. Additionally, if a LFT result is positive they also should also immediately arrange for a PCR test
  • wear face coverings in indoor settings whenever it is practical. Risk assessments should be updated to take into account anywhere indoors where distancing cannot be guaranteed, where there is poor ventilation, and working with visitors or customers

To prevent staff absence and keep businesses and other services functioning we must continue practicing these key behaviours and actions over the winter months. These effective mitigation behaviours and actions form the guiding principles below.

While COVID-19 remains a global pandemic we must remain ready to adapt and adjust our daily lives to the challenges of living in a pandemic. If you need any support or advice you can email the Covid Support team.

Guiding principles for all businesses and activities

The following general principles are to help each business and service provider to mitigate the ongoing risk of COVID-19.

Businesses should continue to apply a detailed, ongoing risk assessment of their own environment throughout the winter period. Risk assessments should include the following general principles which will help prevent workplace transmission, staff absence and protect business continuity. 

In addition, an updated risk assessment including the below principles will help ensure compliance under both the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989 and Article 4 of the Covid-19 (Workplace Restrictions) (Jersey) Order 2020:

  • ensure staff and customers are aware of COVID-19 symptoms and do not attend if they are experiencing symptoms or have a positive test result. Anyone with symptoms or a positive LFT result should immediately isolate, request a PCR test and not attend until they have received a negative PCR test result
  • strongly recommending and supporting the use of mouth and nose coverings for staff. For example, where physical distancing and/or good ventilation cannot be guaranteed, when passing through shared indoor areas, in lifts and confined spaces, when working with members of the public or visitors from other workforces.  More information on mouth and nose coverings
  • a clear plan outlining how to manage a customer, staff member or other visitor who develops symptoms or receives a positive test result while in the setting. This should include how they safely seek health advice if necessary and safely exit the setting without putting others at risk
  • maximising indoor ventilation and fresh air exchange or using outdoor spaces. The risk of respiratory droplets and aerosols can be reduced by using mechanical ventilation, HVAC or HEPA systems if fitted, keeping windows or doors open, and avoiding the use of rooms which cannot be ventilated
  • actively promoting cleanliness and personal hygiene measures. This includes use of clear signage, regular handwashing, ensuring adequate availability of hand sanitiser (minimum of 70% alcohol content), and continuing enhanced cleaning regimes with close attention to shared surfaces and touchpoints using EN 14476 surface sanitiser (or similar)
  • encouraging as much physical distancing between individuals and reducing crowding where possible to do so. Contact Tracing continues to identify close contacts as anyone within 2 meters of a positive case for 15 minutes or more, so maintaining up to 2 meters of physical distancing remains the safest option. It is acknowledged that for many businesses this is not always possible and so space should be maximised where able to do so. This can include using outdoor spaces if available, using floor markers, one-way systems, splitting people into mutually exclusive groups/zones/cohorts, increasing high use facilities if you are able to (ror example, number of toilets, break areas), or reducing capacity in some or all areas of the setting. Some settings should also consider how large crowds will enter and exit the area
  • continue to apply measures to prevent staff sickness and protect business continuity. You should ensure you are taking additional measures to protect your workforce by taking part in the workforce screeningprogramme or home testing programme using regular LFTs at least twice a week, encouraging vaccination within your workforce, having a policy if staff become direct contacts, supporting remote working where appropriate, using flexible hours or team working, and strongly recommending the use of mouth and nose coverings in confined or busy areas, or when working face to face with visitors or customers

Legal obligations

In addition to the above, the Covid-19 (Workplace Restrictions) (Jersey) Order 2020 places additional legal requirements on some businesses, workplaces and venues to collect contact details from customers and visitors aged 12 or over. Masks and other suitable mouth and nose coverings must also be worn in some settings relating to travel and transport.

Collecting contact information

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of visitors over the age of 12 in the below settings:

  • auction houses
  • visitor attractions
  • food and drink premises, including nightclubs
  • accommodation settings
  • close contact services (such as hairdressers, beauty salons, health or wellbeing services)
  • indoor physical activity and sport facilities
  • indoor play facilities
  • entertainment facilities (such as cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, and dance halls)
  • amusement centres (such as games arcades, billiard and snooker halls)
  • community halls, function rooms and similar spaces used for gathering and events (this includes Parish Halls when used for an event or gathering)
  • places of worship, including areas hired out for use, or places used for weddings and funerals

Within these settings every visitor or at least one visitor within a group of visitors who know each other, must provide their contact details. Contact details can be provided in advance (in the case of reservations, appointments, or ticket sales) or upon arrival.

Contact Tracing retains a fundamental role in containing the spread of COVID-19 efficiently and quickly should an outbreak occur in the workplace.

Background

Contact tracing has a vital role to play in Jersey's COVID-19 strategy to both minimise transmission and contain the spread of the disease, enabling organisations to remain open and protect the general public.

The risk of COIVD-19 transmission increases when people come into direct contact within 2 metres for longer than 15 minutes.

Contact tracing allows us to identify those that are at the highest risk of having caught the virus from a person who has been confirmed as having COVID-19 through a positive COVID1-19 PCR test. The contact tracing process only starts when there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 established through a positive test.

The collection of simple contact information from customers allows the contact tracing team to help protect others who have been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19 through the track and trace process.

The Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner (JOIC) has published a checklist for organisations called Track and Trace Personal Information which sets out how organisations can navigate their legal responsibilities in collecting personal data to assist Government with track and trace of COVID-19.

It is important that you read the checklists even if you already collect information from customers for other purposes.

Collecting data for the purpose of contact tracing

Upon arrival, you must:

  1. collect customer and visitor contact details
  2. explain why you are doing so; and
  3. provide them with the information required by the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.

See the guidance published by the JOIC if you are not sure how to do this.

You must ask them to provide the following information as needed by the contact tracing team:

  • full name
  • mobile contact number
  • date and time of arrival
  • area where seated when zoned layout is in place

No further information is needed for track and trace, so do not collect any further details, or provide any extra data you may have to the government in the case of a request for data.

You are not responsible for the accuracy of the data collected.

You must not use the information you have collected for track and trace purposes for another business purpose, for example marketing communication. You cannot use information collected for one specific purpose for something entirely different.

Contact tracing posters for print

What to tell the customer or visitor

You must be clear, open, and honest with people about why you are collecting their data, who you will be sharing it with and how long you will keep it. In this case, the collection of customer data is for a contact tracing scheme, so you need to make this clear to people.

Collecting customer contact details may already be standard practice for your organisation, but the purpose of collecting this particular information is wider than managing bookings or similar, and there are greater implications should an outbreak occur. You need to explain this to people.

You must consider appropriate methods of communicating this message, including an update to your Privacy Notice.

For example, you could provide information over the phone, you could put signs up on site, direct people to further information online, or simply tell them when they arrive. You may also wish to put an information sheet together.

Whichever method you choose to allow customers to understand how their customer information will be used, make sure you include at least the following:

  • Personal details collected for the purpose of the government contact tracing scheme, will be held for 21 days and passed onto the government when requested to do so. The organisation will destroy any data after a 21 day period. The government may contact you if necessary for the purpose of the contact tracing scheme.
  • Customer information collected will not be used for any other purposes than contact tracing by the Government of Jersey, in the event of a positive test for Covid-19. It will not be used for other purposes such as marketing.
  • Customer Information requested by the contact tracing team will only be used for the purposes of contact tracing. If requested, it will be kept securely on Government of Jersey systems and processed in accordance with the Government of Jersey coronavirus (COVID-19): privacy notice.
  • The condition for processing that you are using (as detailed below)

Refer to the guidance published by the JOIC for details.

Conditions for processing

Whenever you collect, store, or use personal data in any way, you need to have a specific reason for this collection, as set out in Schedule 2 of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.

Because this government guidance is stating that you must ask all people attending your premises if they are willing to provide their information for track and trace purposes (but you can't force them to provide this information), the condition for processing personal data that allows you to do so is likely to be one of the following:

Legitimate interests

This is likely to be the most applicable condition if you are a private organisation. This condition recognises that collecting the data is likely to be in the interests of the individual, the organisation, and the public health efforts to tackle COVID-19, as long as individuals' rights are protected and data protection principles are followed.

Consent

Most organisations will not need to rely on consent, but there are some notable exceptions where the information you are collecting could reveal something sensitive about the person involved. In Data Protection law, this is called Special Category Data and it means you need to treat it particularly carefully. It includes racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs or trade union membership, as well as data concerning health, data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation; or data relating to a natural person's criminal record or alleged criminal activity. In this scenario, we suggest using consent if you are logging details in places of worship, for example or if you provide a service to small groups or on a one-to one basis. That's because the information you may be asked to share may only apply to one or two people.

If you do need to use consent as your basis, please go to the JOIC guidance for details on how to make sure this is appropriately gathered and recorded.

However, you should not use consent as your condition for processing where there is an alternative, for example, legitimate interests as detailed above.

Refer to the guidance published by the JOIC for details.

Looking after customer or visitor information

You may already be collecting data for other purposes such as table reservations, for example. The information you are collecting for the track and trace initiative is a different purpose, so you should treat this information separately. Similarly, it is important that the data collected for track and trace purposes is not used for any other purpose than to provide it to the Government when requested. You should not, for example, ask customers if they will also consent to the data being provided to be used for marketing communications. Further understanding of this is available from the JOIC.

You are responsible for ensuring that the personal data you hold is kept securely. That includes making sure paper records are physically safe, as well as securing electronic data. You must also have rules and staff training in place to make sure information isn't lost, stolen or destroyed. These measures will vary depending on how you hold this information:

  • staff members must be briefed on what they should and shouldn't do with the customer information they are collecting. You need to ensure they understand that the data is confidential and for the purposes of contact tracing only, and that it is a breach of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 to misuse personal data
  • customer information you collect, on paper or electronically, should be kept for 21 days. After this period, you must ensure it is securely destroyed. A daily procedure designated to an appropriate staff member may help you with this
  • the data collected must be kept securely and should not be accessible to anyone who doesn't have a reason associated with contact tracing to see it. Basic measures include:
    • do not use an open sign-in book where customer details are visible to everyone. Each customer (or lead of group of customers) should complete a separate form or provide their details in a manner that would not allow others to see them
    • keep any paper records in a safe place, with measures to prevent malicious access (for example, locked doors, safes, CCTV)
    • consider which members of staff need access to the records and limit access to those staff
    • do not store contact tracing records in an accessible, unsecured file
    • where using an electronic solution, check your approach to cyber security and do your due diligence on the supplier
    • when deleting or disposing of the records, do so securely (for example, shredding paper documents as opposed to disposing them in public refuse bins, and ensuring permanent deletion of electronic files)

Covid Safe Team

The team will be available, to help businesses in managing the potential impact of any positive cases within their workforce. The team will offer advice on business continuity and what actions Contact Tracing will take if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 within the workplace. They will also be able to help with Covid Safe Checklists and provide guidance and feedback.

The importance of effective management of positive cases is critical to helping keep businesses open and provides reassurance to both staff and customers that the outlet is operating safely.

To book a visit email the Covid Support team.

We may also request feedback from the visited businesses in the form of a short questionnaire. This will help the team understand if the service they are providing is useful and if any improvements need to be made. 

Data protection

COVID Safe checks are carried out by the Contact Tracing, Monitoring and Enforcement Team. These visits provide you with an opportunity to discuss any issues you may be experiencing when complying with the COVID Guidelines. They allow us to review the measures you have in place for protecting your staff and customers and to assist you in complying with the Law and following the guidance.

Officers may contact your business in order to arrange a visit, but if you know you are already experiencing problems with meeting the guidelines you may wish to call them to ask for assistance. You can do this by emailing the Covid Safe Team.

During the visit, officers will make a record on how well you are doing and they will enter their findings into the Integrated Public Health Register, (IPHR) which is the system used by Government to record the majority of the Island's Covid related data. The information collected will be used to risk assess your business so that officers can determine whether you need more support to meet the guidelines and schedule further visits.

A principle contact name for the business will be recorded in the IPHR together with their contact details so that officers know who to speak to in order to arrange any follow ups or who to send further guidance and advice to. Further details on how this personal data will be used are set out in the coronavirus privacy notice.

After the visit has taken place you will be sent a questionnaire to complete and return. The questionnaire will ask for feedback on how the visit went and it will cover things such as how useful the visit was to you and your business, as well as including other feedback questions. Completion of the questionnaire is entirely voluntary and completely anonymous. You will not have to provide your business details or the name of a principle business contact. The feedback that you provide will help the Team understand if the services they are providing are useful and if there are any improvements they need to make.

Mouth and nose coverings

Mouth and nose coverings help to protect you and other people. Over the winter period, and whilst we see an increase in cases of COVID-19 it is strongly recommended that both visitors and staff wear a suitable mouth and nose covering when visiting:

  • healthcare settings (including care homes) to protect vulnerable islanders with health needs
  • close contact wellbeing, cosmetic and beauty services due to close, physical contact
  • any setting in which physical distancing and/or good ventilation cannot be guaranteed to ensure transmission and associated harms remain low

Anyone over the age of 12 who is able to do so must by law continue to wear a mask when using public and private-hire transport, including in buses and taxis, inside the bus station and when inside airport or harbour buildings.

This includes staff unless wearing a mouth or nose covering would pose a danger if driving.

More information on masks and nose coverings

If you need any advice and support you can contact the Covid Safe Team.

Public and private events

There are no limits on the number of people attending social gatherings, private or public events.

Large public and private events remain permitted and can now include a stand-up drinking service and dancing. It is important to recognise that large events (especially those with stand up drinking and close physical proximity to others) present a high transmission risk which can become super-spreading events.

Organisers of public events should continue to plan events through their usual process which may include an application to the Bailiff's Panel or operating under conditions of a P49 Licence. In all circumstances public and private events should include a risk assessment which includes COVID-19 considerations. Risk assessments should include consideration of the guiding principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate risks and reduce the chances of becoming a super-spreading event.

Organisers must also ensure they collect contact tracing details of attendees if their event is held within or includes a mandated setting where contact details must be taken. Even if there is no legal obligation to do so, collecting contact details of all attendees can help with outbreak control should transmission occur.

If you need any advice or support you can email the Covid Support team.

Music

Venues and businesses providing music should complete detailing an updated risk-assessment detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks.

Live and recorded music in all settings remains permitted with lower volumes remaining the safer option.

Singing or use of wind and brass instruments

Singing and the use of wind and brass instruments at close range to audiences present a higher COVID-19 risk because infectious respiratory droplets can be sprayed or propelled further.

In addition to maximised ventilation, the physical space between performers and audiences should be as far as deemed practical. Distances less than 2m between performers and less than 3m between performers and audiences pose the highest risks.

Working safely in vehicles

This guidance applies to those travelling in vehicles with other people as part of their daily work. This can include, but is not limited to taxi drivers, driving instructors, minibus and coach drivers and those delivering services using heavy goods vehicles, vans or lorries.

Drivers and customers of public service vehicles must continue, by law, to wear masks unless exempt.

Due to being in a confined area without the ability to physical distance, breathing in respiratory droplets and aerosols are the highest risks. This risk can be reduced by keeping windows open and by wearing masks. Regular use of LFTs, the cleaning of shared touchpoints and other guiding principles found in the Advice to All Businesses are also strongly recommended.

In addition to the above those transporting customers for hire or reward should:

  • maintain a strict regime of hand hygiene and disinfecting of key touch points within the vehicle
  • vehicles should be thoroughly sanitised after every group, before the next group enters
  • ensure masks are work by both staff and customers over the age of 12, this is mandatory in all public service vehicles (those with a PSV sticker or who otherwise carry passengers for hire or reward, not including a hire vehicle). Drivers remain exempt if they feel that wearing a mask would be unsafe

Food and drink services including nightclubs

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

The wearing of masks by visitors and staff is strongly recommended as a guiding principle in mitigating COVID-19 risks over the winter months. If you provide a Buffet or food self-service it is advised that you put in place a serviced provision to avoid contamination of hand touched services.

Food and drink premises including nightclubs must collect contact information of people over the age of 12 who attend the premises. If the customer refuses to provide their contact details, they may only purchase a takeaway (if this provision is legally allowed).

Refer to collecting contact information for all businesses for what you need to do and the steps you need to take to collect customer information safely, including helpful advice from the Information Commissioner.

For more support and advice, you can email the Covid Support team

Retail

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

Masks are strongly recommended for staff and visitors and they continue to remain a guiding principle in mitigating COVID-19 risks over the winter period.

Working indoors (offices, workshops, warehouses, other indoor business)

An updated risk-assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

Employers are advised to assess the risks within their own workplaces and take appropriate measures as outlined in the Advice to All Businesses section above, particularly on ensuring staff regularly use lateral flow testing and business continuity planning.

Contact Tracing continues to identify close-contacts as anyone within 2 meters of a positive case for 15 minutes or more. Maintaining up to 2 meters of physical distancing where possible remains the safest option as does ensuring other mitigations are in place to reduce the impact of workplace transmission when physical distancing is impractical.

Working in people's homes

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section, particularly on wearing a mask and regularly using LFTs, to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

Before scheduling work in people's homes, businesses should have a conversation with the occupant(s) to ensure that you are both comfortable with the work taking place. This should include contacting the tenant if the work has been requested by the landlord. If either party is not comfortable, then the work should not take place. You should be particularly mindful of both staff and occupants who:

  • are deemed at-risk or otherwise vulnerable to COVID-19 (except where the organisation is a healthcare provider giving necessary care to the individual)
  • have been deemed a direct contact
  • have recently travelled and are awaiting a COVID-19 test result

Work within occupied households should not be proceed where: 

  • Either those attending the household or anyone resident in the house are isolating for any reason

The exception to this is for emergency or essential repairs, and if you need advice contact the Covid Support team.

When working in a household where somebody is at higher risk, prior arrangements should be made to avoid any face-to-face contact, for example, when answering the door. You should be particularly strict about handwashing and respiratory hygiene and should consider wearing a nose and mouth covering.

Accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, campsites)

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of guests staying in accommodation settings. Depending on facilities available within the accommodation setting contact details will need to be taken in other areas too, such as a food and drink venues including nightclubs, leisure facilities and close contact services.

Further details on mandated areas can be found in the Collecting Contact information section.

If you need any further support or advice you can email the Covid Support team.

Registered health professionals

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

PPE guidance for you relevant profession may also need to be followed.

In addition, registered health professionals should follow any relevant COVID-19 guidance from their governing or regulatory body.

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of visitors or patients in health settings which feature close contact (spending more than 15 minutes closer than 2 metres to the visitor).

Wellbeing, cosmetic and beauty services

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

In addition, registered wellbeing, cosmetic and beauty services should follow any relevant COVID-19 guidance from their governing or regulatory body.

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of customers in wellbeing, cosmetic and beauty services which feature close contact (spending more than 15 minutes closer than 2 metres to the visitor).

Indoor and outdoor sport, fitness and physical activity

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of customers using indoor physical activity and sport facilities.

Entertainment facilities (cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, dance halls)

An updated risk-assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of customers using entertainment facilities. Masks are no longer mandatory in this setting but are strongly recommended as a guiding principle over the winter months. Stand up drinking can resume if applicable. 

Amusement centres (games arcades, billiard and snooker halls)

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of customers using amusement centres. Masks are no longer mandatory for staff or customers in this setting but remain a guiding principle.

Indoor play areas and facilities

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

There is a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of customers using indoor play areas and facilities. Masks are no longer mandatory for staff or customers in this setting but remain a guiding principle.

Worship, funerals and solemnisation of marriage and civil partnerships

An updated risk assessment should be completed detailing how to safely operate. Risk assessments should include the general principles outlined in the above Advice to All Businesses section to ensure appropriate steps are taken to mitigate identified risks and comply with relevant legislation.

There remains a legal requirement to collect contact tracing details of all those in attendance of worship services, funerals, solemnisation of marriage and civil partnerships. Contact tracing details are also a legal requirement when these venues are hired out for other purposes.

The exception to this is when these settings are used by a school or youth service. When there are 10 children or less together for the same specific activity there is no need to collect contact details. The limit of 10 children does not includes children under 5 years old or any adults supporting the children.

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