COVID-19 Advice for Members

HAE EHA produces regular Covid-19 updates, helping members stay up-to-date with coronavirus during these challenging times. The updates contain information on COVID-19, its impact on the plant, tool and event equipment hire sectors, and links to useful and important resources; which can be useful to both businesses and individuals employed in the industry.

If you are looking for advice relating to insurance please contact the team at HAE EHA BusinessGuard on 0121 380 4612 or email businessguard@hae.org.uk.

The Latest Advice and Information

Please review the latest Covid-19 Advice Update and consider the implications for your employees, customers and business continuity. HAE EHA has provided useful links to related articles which will provide further guidance.

We will continue to keep members updated on all issues relating to Covid-19 here so please review frequently:

COVID-19 Advice for HAE EHA Members; Thursday 13th January 2022
Covid-19 Restrictions to be Reviewed for All UK Nations
The current Covid-19 restrictions in place across the four UK Nations will be subject to a periodic review in the next week. The ongoing pressure on hospitals and the NHS will be key in determining whether further relaxations can be allowed, although an easing of restrictions for Scotland has been announced by the First Minister.

There is much discussion about the impact of any future variants after Omicron and the likely government response. It is also likely that damaging revelations about events held in Downing Street during the first lockdown have weakened public support for further lockdowns or limits on social gathering.

ENGLAND
Information on Access to Vaccinations and Advice
Find local vaccination centres and book appointments, get information and advice on vaccines for children, booster doses and more. Click here to get started.

Update to Parliament by the Health Secretary
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid confirms the decision to shorten the Covid-19 isolation times: “After reviewing all of the evidence, we’ve made the decision to reduce the minimum self-isolation period to five full days in England. From Monday, people can test twice before they go, leaving isolation at the start of day six”. Read the full statement here.

SCOTLAND
Large Outdoor Events will Resume
From Monday 17th January large outdoor events will be allowed without limits to numbers. Measures relating to indoor events will also be reviewed soon. Read more here.

WALES
Self Isolation Support Scheme Updated
Individuals who must isolate but are unable to work from home may be eligible for a payment of £750. Find out how to apply here.

NORTHERN IRELAND
Guidance and Regulations for Northern Ireland
For a reminder of the current restrictions on hospitality and venues, business and retail, and travel and social gatherings click here.

Previous Covid-19 Updates

The COVID-19 emergency is rapidly changing and HAE EHA relies on government and other authoritative sources for information. We can take no responsibility for any out-of-date or inaccurate information and we ask members to check sources and take further advice as required.

Click below to expand each previous Covid-19 Member Update.

The UK situation regarding Covid and the spread of the Omicron variant remains challenging. It is more easily transmissible compared to previous variants, leading to a spike in infections, and the symptoms seem closer to flu and colds making it less easy to diagnose without testing.

Increased pressure on the NHS and PCR testing capacity has led to some changes; to the requirements for PCR testing for travel and to actions following a positive lateral flow test result. The guidance and rules are constantly changing and members are urged to keep updated.

HAE EHA will continue to highlight the changes most relevant to our supported industry sectors and workforce. Despite inconsistencies with covid protection measures in entertainment and leisure premises, there is increased coordination across the four UK nations, and some similarity in the measures being adopted.

New Cabinet Office Covid-19 Stakeholder Toolkit for January 2022
The first edition of 2022 which rounds up the key announcements of the first week of January, and includes further tools and resources to help those self isolating. Click here to download.

ENGLAND
Prime Minister Addresses the House of Commons
The Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons on COVID-19, on 5th January. Click here to read the full transcript.

PCR Testing No Longer a Requirement
Individuals who test positive on a lateral flow test must isolate immediately but are not required to take a follow-up PCR test. Read the full news story here.

Changes to Isolation Rules for International Travellers
Pre-departure testing and self isolation are no longer required for travellers arriving in England. Read more here.

Changes to Guidance on Critical Workers to Help Maintain Important Services
There have been updates to the guidance concerning children of critical workers or vulnerable children that can attend school. Click here to view the guidance.

The government will provide 100,000 critical workers in England with free lateral flow tests to help keep essential services and supply chains running.

Critical workers will be able to take a test on every working day and the provision of precautionary testing will be for an initial 5 weeks. This will help to isolate asymptomatic cases and limit the risk of outbreaks in workplaces, reducing transmission while COVID-19 cases remain high.

The full range of critical workers have been identified by the relevant departments and the government will contact these organisations directly on the logistics of the scheme this week. Roll-out will start from Monday 10 January. There is currently no list of ‘critical workers’ except for accessing schools as above which might in practice be applied for the purposes of the lateral flow tests.

SCOTLAND
Self-Isolation and Testing Changes
Changes are being made in line with public health advice. Click here for the full story.

WALES
Prioritising PCR Testing
The Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan MS, promises that efforts are being made to reduce pressure and increase access to testing. Read the statement here.

NORTHERN IRELAND
Additional Restrictions Introduced by NI Executive
Following increases in Covid-19 cases the Northern Ireland Executive has made updates to guidance and regulations. Read it in full here.
UK-WIDE
On 5th January 2022 the governments of all UK Nations will review the effectiveness of current measures in tackling the Omicron variant, to decide whether additional actions are required. This does not mean that more urgent action won’t be declared in advance of this date.

UK Government to Confirm Extra Funding to Tackle Covid
The Nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will receive additional funding from the UK Reserve to support vaccine rollout. Click here for more information.

Latest Covid-19 Stakeholder Toolkit from Cabinet Office
The latest edition urges individuals to book their booster vaccines, provides useful advice about safer behaviours and resources for maintaining good Mental Health. Click here to download.

New Chair Announced for Forthcoming Covid-19 Public Inquiry
The Prime Minister has announced that Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will chair the public inquiry that will examine UK-wide response to the Covid-19 pandemic, set to begin in Spring 2022. Read the full announcement here.

ENGLAND

How to Stay Safe and Prevent the Spread Guidance Updated
It is no longer required for fully vaccinated contacts of positive Covid cases to self isolate, instead they may undertake daily lateral flow tests. Other updates include testing before attending events, making use of the NHS COVID Pass, and Plan B measures in response to the rise of the Omicron variant. Read the guidance here.

Printed and Digital Resources for Venues and Businesses
First a Mandatory Certification Toolkit prepared by the NHS for venues where proof of Covid status is a legal requirement. The toolkit includes posters, website banners and stickers, containing guidance for both staff and customers.

Secondly, from Public Health England, some useful downloads for business settings including encouragement on booster vaccine take up.

Other Useful Links to Guidance, Collateral and Important News Stories

WALES

Statement by the Health Minister for Wales
Read the full statement from Eluned Morgan MS by clicking here.

Alert Level 0 Guidance for Businesses
A guidance document for employers based in Wales outlining what must be done at alert level 0. Click here to download.

SCOTLAND

New Measures to Slow Omicron Spread
New Guidance from the Scottish Government which takes effect from midnight on Friday 17th December. Click here to view.

Measures to Speed Booster and Flu Programme
The online booking portal is now open to 18-29 year olds and Covid-19 vaccines are prioritised for the under 65s. Read more here.

Omicron in Scotland Evidence Paper
Medical and statistical information about the Omicron variant, download here.

Guidance and Information on Covid in Scotland
Click here for the latest information on vaccines and how to protect yourself and others from the spread.

New Chair Announced for the Covid Public Inquiry in Scotland
The Hon. Lady Poole QC, Senator of the College of Justice of Scotland, will chair the inquiry. Click here to read more and view the terms of reference.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Covid Certification Scheme for Events and Settings
The Department of Health has introduced a Covid certification scheme to reduce infections in high-risk settings. Read more here.

Guidance on Indoor Seated Venues
Indoor seating venues include cinemas, theatres and hospitality premises, and the guidance covers, vaccine checking, adequate ventilation and placement of hand sanitiser stations. Click here to view the guidance in full.

Business Closures and Restrictions
An outline of restrictions and legal requirements for businesses, to combat the spread of coronavirus. Click here to view.
The Government is bringing in new measures to help manage a rise in the Omicron variant which is proving to be more transmissible than the currently dominant Delta variant. The measures, which apply to England, but align to those in the other Nations, were prefaced in ‘Plan B’ published as part of the Winter Plan in Autumn 2021.

Hire depots and similar premises are defined as ‘retail’ so requirements to wear a face covering apply.

Overview of new measures

  • To reintroduce the guidance to work from home effective from next Monday. People should work from home if they can
  • From this Friday extending the legal requirement to wear a face mask to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas. There will be exemptions, such as when eating, drinking, exercising or singing (ie. not required in hospitality settings)
  • The NHS Covid Pass will become mandatory from 15th December for entry into nightclubs, and venues where large crowds gather including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people
  • The NHS Covid Pass can still be obtained with two doses but ministers will keep this under review as the boosters roll out. A negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient
  • As set out in Plan B, businesses are being given a week's notice, so this will come into force in a week's time
Further updated guidance will be issued and a parliamentary vote will take place before the Recess. Meanwhile, further relevant links:

Health Secretary’s Statement to Parliament on 8th December, click here.

Government Press Release re Plan B can be found here.

The latest UK Government Coronavirus Data, up to 8th December, can be found by clicking here.