Shielding to end from 1 April

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The government is sending out a new letter to people on the shielded patient list advising them of new guidance from 1 April 2021.

As part of the government’s roadmap out of national restrictions, they are informing those on the list that they are no longer advised to shield from 1 April 2021. 

Clinically extremely vulnerable people are still being encouraged to take extra precautions and work from home where possible. If they cannot work from home, the new guidance advises that they should attend their place of work from 1 April.

Employers

Employers are required to implement measures that reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and advise staff what they have put in place to keep them safe. 

Workplace testing for COVID-19 is now available to all businesses and are being encouraged to register their interest in the scheme to access free testing. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Regular workplace testing is a vital part of our route back to normal life, which is why I’m very pleased that we’re now expanding our offer of free workplace testing to businesses of all sizes, including SMEs.

These rapid tests will allows positive cases of Covid-19 to be caught quickly, which is crucial in helping businesses protect their workplaces and employees as we cautiously lift restrictions.

I urge all businesses to register their interest in the programme before 31 March to help break chains of transmission and keep people safe.

An online portal has been launched for businesses to find out more about offering rapid workplace testing. Businesses will be provided with all the information they need to plan and deliver their testing programme, along with promotional materials.

All local authorities in England are now offering rapid lateral flow testing for small businesses if they can’t offer rapid workplace testing. Businesses can find their local test site online.

Statutory Sick Pay

From 1 April clinically extremely vulnerable people who were previously being advised to shield will no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay on the basis of being advised to shield.  The same will also apply to those claiming Employment and Support Allowance. 

More information

You can view a copy of the letter being sent out to those on the shielded patient list at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-letter-to-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-people

Get Workplace Tests – https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests

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