Covid employer guidance updates | August 2021

Isolation exemption for fully vaccinated individuals from 16 August 2021

It is now no longer a requirement for double-vaccinated individuals to self-isolate when they are informed of being a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. Although individuals will still be advised to get a PCR test and isolate at least until the result is received (with continued isolation in the event of a positive result), it is not a legal requirement and the removal of isolation obligations will significantly reduce the business impact experienced by many up to this point.

Providing employees are at least 14 days post-second dose of an approved vaccine (or aged under 18 years and 6 months) they do not need to isolate if contacted by NHS Test & Trace. It is advisable to still be mindful that such an employee has been in close contact with a contagious individual and therefore may still have contracted the virus and be capable of transmission. As such, maintaining appropriate COVID secure workplace measures would be recommended to minimise any potential negative impact in the workplace.

The self-isolation rules still legally apply to anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms, whether vaccinated or not.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - guidance published on required vaccination of care homes workers

The Department of Health and Social Care has published its guidance regarding the mandatory vaccination status of anyone working or volunteering in a care home to protect residents from coronavirus. The guidance is aimed at service providers, registered persons, local authorities, workers, professionals and tradespeople entering care homes, and residents of care homes regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that provide accommodation for those requiring nursing. These groups must be fully vaccinated by 11 November 2021, unless exempt under regulations.

This means that the last date for workers to receive their first dose is 16 September 2021 in order to be fully vaccinated in time for when the legislation is in place.

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