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Guide to the latest COVID-19 updates

Our guide can help you keep up to date with the latest news relevant for you and your business.

This page was updated on 15 March 2022. 

On 21 February 2022, the Prime Minister set out the "Living with COVID-19" Strategy. This outlines how the Government will remove the remaining domestic restrictions in England while continuing to protect and support the NHS and the social care sector. 

Key dates to remember

On 21 February 2022

  • The Government removed the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice-weekly asymptomatic testing.

From 24 February 2022

  • The legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive test ends 
    • Until 1 April, the government will still advise adults and children who test positive to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for at least five full days and then continue to follow the guidance until they have received two negative test results on consecutive days.
  • Routine contact tracing ends
    • Fully vaccinated adults and those aged under 18 who are close contacts will no longer be advised to test daily for seven days and the legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate will be removed.
  • Self-isolation support payments, national funding for practical support and the medicine delivery service will no longer be available. People who were instructed to self-isolate before this date will still be able to claim support payments within the next 42 days.
  • The government will remove additional local authority powers to tackle local COVID-19 outbreaks (No.3 regulations). Local Authorities will manage local outbreaks in high-risk settings as they do with other infectious diseases.

From 24 March 2022

  • The Government will remove the COVID-19 provisions within the *Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations. From this date:
    • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will no longer be payable from day 1 if people are unable to work because they are sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19. Pre-pandemic SSP rules will apply.
    • People will no longer be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance because they are self-isolating due to COVID-19.

* Please note: The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme allowing eligible employers to claim back up to two weeks of SSP for coronavirus related absences will close after 17 March 2022. Employers have up to and including 24 March 2022 to:

  • submit any final claims
  • amend claims they’ve already submitted

From 1 April 2022

  • The government will no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England. 
    • Limited symptomatic testing will be available for a small number of at-risk groups (further details on which groups will be eligible will be published shortly).
    • Free symptomatic testing will also remain available to social care staff.
  • The government will update guidance setting out the ongoing steps that people with COVID-19 should take to minimise contact with other people.
  • The government will remove the current guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass. However, the NHS app will continue to allow people to indicate their vaccination status for international travel as well as their recovery status for travel to those overseas destinations that recognise it.
  • The government will replace the existing set of ‘Working Safely’ guidance with new public health guidance
  • The government will remove the health and safety requirement for every employer to explicitly consider COVID-19 in their risk assessments. Employers that specifically work with COVID-19, such as laboratories, must continue to undertake a risk assessment that considers COVID-19.
  • Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the regulations making vaccination a condition of deployment to health and wider social care settings will be revoked ahead of 1 April 2022.

Guidance remaining - International Travel

COVID-19 travel restrictions to be removed in the UK 

On 14 March 2022, the Transport Secretary announced that the government will remove the remaining restrictions on international travel for all passengers ahead of the Easter holidays.

This means that if you arrive in England from abroad after 4am, Friday 18 March:

  • and you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to: fill in a UK passenger locator form before you travel
  • and you are not vaccinated, you do not need to:
    • take a pre-departure test and a day 2 post arrival test
    • fill in a UK passenger locator form before you travel

For the latest information on travel, visit the government website.

 More information is available on the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Support website. For more personalised advice call us on: 0161 359 3050 or email us at: BGH@growthco.uk

 

The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

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