The Government has introduced a number of temporary COVID‐19 measures from 30 November in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK:
- Close contacts of suspected Omicron cases will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and legally required to self‐isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status or age
- Face coverings must be worn on public transport and in shops
- Everyone entering the UK from abroad must take a PCR test within 48 hours and self‐isolate until they receive a negative result.
The changes were discussed at the latest industry call with Construction Minister Lee Rowley this week, and construction sites are urged to continue to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. The Site Operating Procedures remain available as a reference document and the Build UK COVID‐19 flowchart has been updated in line with the new rules. The CLC is currently reviewing its guidance on the Use of Face Coverings in Construction following publication of the detailed Government guidance yesterday.
The Government has confirmed that the measures will be reviewed in three weeks’ time and we will keep the guidance updated.
Guidance on Vaccination Policy
The Government has announced that everyone who is currently eligible for the COVID‐19 booster vaccine can now book from three months after their second dose and all adults aged 18 and over will be offered a booster by the end of January. Whilst the majority of the UK population is vaccinated, there are a number of issues that employers need to be aware of and Build UK partner Citation has updated its practical guidance on developing and implementing a vaccination policy for staff, which covers whether a policy is required, recording vaccination status, and making it mandatory for staff to be vaccinated.