As the Covid-19 vaccination programme continues to roll out, the UK government has reduced the current restrictions massively. This article will provide an overview of the latest changes and their implications for small businesses. We hope that this information will be helpful to business owners as they make important decisions about how to protect their employees and operations during this difficult time.
Changes to self-isolation and testing
Under its plan for living with COVID-19, the government has announced those who test positive for COVID-19 are no longer legally required to self-isolate. However, they're urging people who do test positive to still stay at home and avoid contact with others. Also, those who are unvaccinated 'close contacts' are no longer legally required to self-isolate while vaccinated 'close contacts' don't have to test for 7 days.
Legal requirements for the workplace
Despite these changes, employers in the UK continue to have a legal duty concerning Covid restrictions and protocols in order to manage risks at their premises. The advice is to regularly review your health and safety risk assessment and to make sure it addresses COVID-19 transmission and infection potential.
Some of the safety steps business owners are expected to take under the new 'living with COVID-19' plan include:
• Ensuring that any staff or customers who feel unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms do not come into the building or on the premises where they could transmit their infection to others.
• Keeping both staff and customers aware of any workplace and business restrictions to ensure they follow the measures you have put in place.
• Identifying any areas with poor ventilation in the workplace where COVID-19 could spread more easily and taking measures to improve airflow here – this could include opening windows.
Effects on small businesses in Melton Mowbray
In the wake of Covid-19, many small businesses have been hit hard. Restaurants, bars, and other service-based companies have seen a significant decrease in business over the last two years as people stayed away to avoid exposure to the virus. This has led to layoffs and even closures in some cases.
But with the end of self-isolation support payments and national funding, what is your business supposed to do if your employees get COVID-19? For more guidance on the new changes and the effects these could have on your small business, contact our team at SRB Associates today.