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COVID-19 advice for businesses

Post emergency phase update

We are now in the post-emergency phase of the pandemic, which means that workplaces are able to function with less disruption to their businesses. But COVID-19 is still with us, so we must continue to take responsible actions to live alongside the virus, reduce the risk of transmission and take practical measures to support business continuity.

COVID-19 workplace risk assessments should be reviewed and updated to prepare businesses, considering practical measures for the guiding principles below that can support business continuity. These apply to all business activities, large or small.

  • workforces should know their COVID-19 status by using lateral flow testing, twice a week. If an LFT result is positive, the staff member should immediately arrange for a PCR test
  • have a workplace policy in place so that staff and customers in any setting do not come to a workplace if they are symptomatic with COVID-19 [insert hyperlink]. They should immediately book a PCR test
  • ensure staff adhere to the isolation guidance following a positive result. Whilst it is no longer a prosecutable offence to not isolate, it is vital that everyone takes responsible action when positive with COVID-19 and stays at home
  • continue to encourage the use of mouth and nose coverings for staff. It is recommended in settings where physical distancing and/or good ventilation cannot be guaranteed, when passing through shared indoor areas, and in lifts and confined spaces
  • 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 physical distancing between individuals and reducing crowding where possible
  • dependent on the workplace, consider having a policy if staff have been a close contact of a positive case, and support remote working where appropriate, using flexible hours or team working

Covid Safe Team

The COVID Safe Team will be available to help businesses in managing the potential impact of any positive cases within their workforce. The team can 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, while providing 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 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.

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 are permitted. It is important to recognise that large events (especially those with stand up drinking and close physical proximity to others) present a higher 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.

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

Working in people's homes

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)
  • are a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19

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. If you need advice, contact the Covid Support team.

When working in a household where somebody is at higher risk, 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.

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