New guidance to get your head around
So, once again we have some new guidance to get our heads around, and this time, it relates to people self-isolating if they come into contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus.
Employees who test positive or have symptoms
- Must self-isolate as before;
- Must seek a PCR test;
- If they are due to attend work, they must tell you that they are required to self-isolate;
- If they do not self-isolate according to the rules, they can be fined.
Employees who live with someone who has tested positive (or is symptomatic)
- If they have had two doses of the vaccine (and the second dose was more than 14 days ago), they do not have to self-isolate;
- If they have not had both doses then they must self-isolate for ten days as before;
- They can seek a PCR test even if not symptomatic because they are at higher risk of becoming infected;
- They are advised to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces and avoid contact with people who are clinically vulnerable.
Employees who have been “pinged”
- If an employee is identified as a contact via NHS Test and Trace then they do not have to self-isolate if they have had both doses of the vaccine (and the second dose was more than 14 days ago);
- As above, they can choose to seek a PCR test and are advised to wear a face mask in enclosed spaces.
Exempt from self-isolation
If an employee is exempt from self-isolating, they don’t need to inform you that they have been contacted by NHS nor that they are exempt;
You are not obligated to check whether an individual is exempt from self-isolation.
I should also mention that if you know an individual is supposed to self-isolate then you will be committing an offence if you allow them to attend work (and you could be fined).
Finally, it’s not clear what someone who is already self-isolating but has been double vaccinated should do. I would suggest that the most sensible plan is for them to continue self-isolating and seek advice from NHS before ending any period of self-isolation.