GENERAL ADVICE and GUIDANCE
On Monday 16 March 2020, the Government announced significant new measures:
- Anyone with a fever or persistent cough should stay at home for seven days if they live alone or 14 days if they live with others. Anyone who lives with someone displaying coronavirus symptoms should also stay at home for 14 days. People who have to isolate themselves should ask others for help
- Everyone should stop non-essential contact with others. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women
- People should work from home where they can
- People should avoid places like pubs, clubs and theatres. This applies especially to those in London which is "a few weeks ahead" of the rest of the UK
- People should stop all unnecessary travel
- By the weekend, those with the most serious health conditions should be largely shielded from social contact for 12 weeks
- In Scotland, the First Minister advised that gatherings of more than 500 people should not go ahead.
Our members should implement the following measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. .
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand rub where available if you don’t have access to soap and water.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Not come to work if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Wherever possible, avoid direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and avoid using their personal items such as their mobile phone.
- Cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing the nose, Dispose of all used tissues promptly into a waste bin. If you don’t have any tissues available, they should cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
In the workplace:
- Maintain, or enhance, regular cleaning, disinfection and environmental cleaning – especially frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Promote hand hygiene by making sure that staff, contractors, service users and visitors have access to hand washing facilities and, where available, alcohol based hand rub.
- Ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas is cleaned with warm general purpose detergent and dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use.
- Ensure that all members of your workforce are aware of the requirement to self-isolate if they develop symptoms and support them in doing this.
- Consider whether individuals can work from home, especially those at higher risk of illness (elderly, immunocompromised and pregnant).
- Consider how you can change working practices to reduce risk of spread of infection (eg – stopping all but essential visitors to your premises).
- Consider staggering start and finish times to reduce commutes at high volume travel times.
DOWNLOAD THE FULL NHS SCOTLAND INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE
The key points outlined above are taken from the official Scottish NHS publication, COVID-19 Information and Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings.
Where can I find further information on COVID-19 and how to reduce the risk of infection?
Additional information can be found on the COVID-19 pages of the NHS Inform website.
A COVID-19 communication toolkit is also available on NHS Inform and contains posters, video and social media posts for organisations to print, use and share.
People who want more general information on COVID-19 but do not have symptoms can also phone the free helpline on 0800 028 2816 (NHS 24).
The helpline is open:
- Monday to Friday – 8am to 10pm
- Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm
Further extensive information on Coronavirus/COVID-19 the is available from Health Protection Scotland.