While the government updates continue to vary for England and all the Devolved Nations, one thing is certain, daily cases are on the rise throughout the UK. In order to ensure we all do our bit to keep businesses open (and get those who still cannot work back as quickly as possible) it is more important than ever, however fatigued we all are with the rules, that we all play our part, both personally and professionally.
Test & Trace procedures have been identified as one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the virus and help avoid further lockdowns. That is why England is making it enforceable by law from the 18th September. To make this process even more simple and effective each country have either launched, or are about to launch, their own Test & Trace apps.
- Scotland's is already available and can be accessed here
- Northern Ireland's is also available and can be accessed here
BABTAC participated in a BEIS briefing and demonstration on the NHS Test and Trace App that England will be launching shortly and we will provide our members with further details as soon as it has been launched. We expect this to be very soon. Wales is also due to launch their own soon too. We strongly encourage everyone to download their country's relevant app as soon as they can and work collectively to reduce the rate of infection.
In England the government guidelines have now been updated to include details of mandatory test and trace requirements, a priority action list that close contact businesses need to refer to, to ensure they are protecting staff and clients with the following 7 points:
- Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment
- Clean more often
- Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law
- Make sure everyone is social distancing
- Increase ventilation
- Take part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days - from 18 September, this will be enforced in law
- Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away
With an additional 5 points reiterated: Wearing Visor/Goggles (please note the change to allow goggles as an option) & Type II Mask, keep clients apart, help staff maintain social distancing, communicate and train staff & keep music to a minimum.
For full details of this priority list and the full updated version of England's Guidance click here
Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, today announced that ALL potential easing of lockdown rules that were due to be made have regrettably had to be paused due to the increase of the R rate to above 1 and the daily rate of infections rising substantially. The new indicative date has been moved to the 5th October. As such no changes have been made to the current guidelines although we have been advised that government FAQs will soon be available to provide further clarity on current guidance. We will advise our Scottish Members as soon as these have been published. The results of our recent Scottish Member Survey have been shared directly with government, thank you to those of you who participated. We continue to push hard for additional funding relief in Scotland and the rest of the UK.
At the same time there are continuing changes on local lockdowns which you must make sure you are aware of and if they affect you personally or professionally - the latest England update can be accessed here - with the most recent updates including: North of England, Bolton, Blackburn, Darwen, Oldham, Pendle, Northampton & Leicester. Remember that local authorities may also put in additional restrictions and to always check in with them too (find your local council here).
The latest on Scotland's local lockdown measures and guidance for areas affected can be accessed here (including East & West Dumbartonshire, Renfrewshire & East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City and Aberdeen)
In Wales the local lockdown details for Caerphilly County can be accessed here
Stay vigilant, stay informed and stay safe