covid restrictions lifting - employers to pick up slack

Pushing Employers to Pick Up the Slack – The End of COVID Restrictions

Yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister outlining the end of COVID isolation measures in two weeks’ time (24th February) has drawn criticism from leading health scientists who claim that it puts public health at risk, particularly the elderly and clinically vulnerable, and will likely lead to a greater number of ‘Long COVID’ cases.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) that advise the government to have also been consistent with their warnings that new variants of the virus are very likely and would undoubtedly be accompanied by an increased number of cases.

'With newer variants being evidently more infectious the repercussions for individuals, families and communities could be far-reaching. Increased exposure to those who are clinically vulnerable is unacceptable. Chemotherapy patients, those taking immunosuppressive medication, the elderly, anyone with multiple co-morbidities or health problems, individuals patients suffering with COPD, we are talking about a lot of people here that will now be more at risk, and more worried about that risk.’

‘We are still learning about this virus, so it feels too early to pull the plug on certain COVID restrictions. The decision, in light of new emerging variants, with Omicron BA.2 being the most contagious yet, and alongside waning efficacy of vaccines does feel somewhat irresponsible. And, in turn, it places a lot more onus on employers and organisational leads to go above and beyond to ensure risks are mitigated, and health and safety remains the top priority.’

Dr Adam Al-Khafaji MBChB BSc MRCEM MRCGP PGCert (Testbase Medical Director)

It places a lot of pressure on employers to pick up the slack. As a business owner, the responsibility now sits with you, and it needs to be managed well.

It will be down to employers to ensure that above all, the health and safety of personnel and customers are at the forefront of every decision, a more difficult task without stringent government guidance in place.

‘The risks of not getting this right are endless. There will likely be many individuals in who fall into the ‘vulnerable’ category that might not feel that they can return to work if there isn’t a strict testing plan and thorough risk assessment in place. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some people leaving an organisation altogether if they felt their health and safety is not of the utmost importance.’ Dr. Adam adds ‘beyond the immediate workplace environment and our colleagues, there are wider communities at play, friends and family members that might be undergoing chemotherapy, or on immunosuppressive medication. We must question whether we are acting ethically.’

Dr Adam Al-Khafaji MBChB BSc MRCEM MRCGP PGCert (Testbase Medical Director)
man putting on child's mask

If there are positive cases that manifest in your workplace, and no real plans or programmes to mitigate risks, the knock-on effect could be devastating, both operationally and legally. And with the government taking a step back, it is business owners that will be held accountable.

‘Let’s not forget just how many cases are asymptomatic too. If you’re not testing staff and introducing measures to dramatically reduce the emergence and subsequent impact of COVID-19, you likely won’t even be aware of an outbreak until it’s too late. The most effective way to know is through regular testing and a rigorous COVID testing programme.

Dr Adam Al-Khafaji MBChB BSc MRCEM MRCGP PGCert (Testbase Medical Director)

For business owners around the country, with COVID restrictions easing, there is currently a delicate balance to strike. Of course, if you want to make sure you’re operating at maximum efficiency and have a necessity for your team to be at work, there is an ever increasing need to ensure the health and safety of those staff members, and the customers that interact which is of paramount importance. While we can’t be sure what will transpire across the next few weeks, one thing is clear: Employers will need to take more responsibility for mitigating the risk of COVID-19. And soon.

So why wait?

Use our smart and simple testing plan configurator or call us now on 0333 577 0099 to find out how you can keep your business COVID free and protect your team.

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