Covid 19 - Scotland Regulations issued 16th December 2021
Following on from the announcement by the First Minister earlier this week as to restrictions as a result of the increasing number of Omicron infections ,today we see the publication of the detail as to what is expected by the Holyrood.
The regulations can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-general-guidance-for-safer-workplaces/
The regulations will be reviewed every 3 weeks and if the prognosis is correct by the next review we should be at height of the infection wave.
The basic position required to be undertaken is to take such of these measures as are reasonably practicable to minimise the incidence and spread of coronavirus on the premises, for example measures which limit close face-to-face interaction, such as supporting working from home, making adjustments to the premises and putting in place protective measures such as signage, screens and other mitigations.
However more information as to the extent of the expectation is set out as follows:
Risk assessment - Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic guidance sets out further detail on risk assessment and duties as a business or service provider.
Staying safe and protecting others guidance provides further considerations, in particular measures that can be strengthened now in response to the Omicron variant.
Under Mandatory protection measures there is set out:
Take reasonable measures to minimise the incidence and spread of coronavirus
You must assess what protection measures you should put in place in your premises to reduce the risk of transmission such as:
Comply with the Certification Scheme
It is mandatory for people to show proof they are eligible to enter certain venues and events – this is known as the Certification Scheme
Under Advisory protection measures:
Get vaccinated when offered
Encourage staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine through supporting the dissemination of national campaign information. Individuals retain the right to choose whether to take the vaccine and businesses should be mindful of this.
Test before going to work
Individuals who are unable to work from home should do a lateral flow test regularly (twice-weekly) and on every occasion they intend to mix socially with people from other households. This might mean testing more regularly.
By taking measures to increase the volume of outside air entering a building, such as opening windows, doors or vents, you can help minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 to colleagues and customers.
A range of guidance has been developed to help businesses, employers and employees understand what good ventilation is which includes Scottish Government ventilation guidance and the Health and Safety Executive guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during COVID-19.
Good hand and respiratory hygiene and surface cleaning
Good hygiene measures are key workplace-specific measures to create a safe working environment. These include, for example:
Sector Specific Measures are also set out for hospitality
Hospitality (including nightclubs and adult entertainment)
As ever a full read of the Guidance is recommended as it is extensive, and we have sought to highlight the key elements.