The Prime Minister has confirmed that the COVID‐19 ‘Plan B’ restrictions in England will end next Wednesday 26 January, with the guidance to work from home withdrawn with immediate effect. The COVID Pass will no longer be required to enter certain venues and face coverings will not be mandatory in any setting although people will still be advised to wear them in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with others they do not normally meet. Build UK will be reviewing the Site Operating Procedures and the Use of Face Coverings in Construction to provide the most up to date guidance for sites.
The legal requirement to self‐isolate after testing positive for COVID‐19 will remain in place. However, an individual may now stop self‐isolating if they take a lateral flow test from day 5 onwards and another one at least 24 hours later, and both results are negative and they do not have a high temperature. The Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart continues to be updated in line with the latest rules.
In Scotland, the restrictions introduced in response to Omicron will be lifted from 24 January. However, individuals should continue to work from home wherever possible and face coverings will remain mandatory in certain settings.
Support ‘Get Boosted Now’ Campaign
In light of recent figures from ONS on vaccine rates, Construction Minister Lee Rowley is urging construction workers to get their COVID‐19 booster. The Government has published a free employer toolkit containing a range of resources, such as briefing sheets, animations and posters, which can be used to increase awareness within the workplace and provide workers with access to reliable and accurate information on vaccines. Employers are also being asked to be as flexible as possible when it comes to workers getting their jabs, which could include giving paid time off work to attend vaccination appointments.
We are aware that businesses may be considering a vaccination policy, and Build UK partner Citation has updated its guidance for employers to cover the potential use of the NHS COVID Pass for accessing sites, which is generally not advisable. Citation is also hosting a free webinar for Build UK members next Thursday 27 January from 10:00am ‐ 11:00am to discuss and take questions on vaccination and testing of employees.