Living With Covid: New Updated Guidance, February/March 2022
Introduction to this document
The rules and laws around Coronavirus have changed. This document is to provide all Indeed Flex workers with the relevant information, to ensure they are able to safely continue booking shifts and carrying out their daily work. We also want to provide important links to sites where you can keep up to date with information.
We at Indeed Flex take the health and safety of our workers seriously and therefore encourage all flexers to keep up to date with government guidelines.
There are specific sets of rules still in place for workers who are in the healthcare and social care industries in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Please see the information below.
As of February 24th, 2022, the government has removed the remaining restrictions in England.
You will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. It is strongly advised that you stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people.
- Adults and children who test positive will continue to be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. After 5 days, they may choose to take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) followed by another the next day – if both are negative, and they do not have a temperature, they can safely return to their normal routine. Those who test positive should avoid contact with anyone in an at-risk group, including if they live in the same household. There will be specific guidance for staff in particularly vulnerable services, such as adult social care, healthcare, prisons, and places of detention.
There is now no legal requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate.
- You are instead advised to take precautions, to reduce the risk of passing the virus to other people, if you live in the same household or have stayed overnight in the same household.
The government has also ended self-isolation support payments and national funding for practical support. The medicine delivery service will no longer be available.
- People who were instructed to self-isolate before this date will still be able to claim support payments within the next 42 days.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations have been revoked by the government.
Timeline of relevant changes:
21st February 2022
- The government have removed the guidance for staff and students in most education and childcare settings to undertake twice-weekly asymptomatic testing
24th February 2022
- Routine contact tracing will end
- Workers will not be legally obliged to tell their employers when they are required to self-isolate.
15th March 2022
- People working or volunteering in care homes are no longer required to have received a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the premises.
24 March 2022
- The COVID-19 provisions within Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance regulations will end.
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will no longer be payable from day 1 if people are unable to work because they are sick or self-isolating due to COVID-19.
- Pre-pandemic SSP rules will apply. Any absence due to covid-19 is treated the same as any other absence.
- People with COVID-19 may still be eligible, subject to the normal conditions of entitlement.
1st April 2022
- The Government will no longer provide free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public in England.
- There will be some limited ongoing free testing:
- Limited symptomatic testing is available for a small number of at-risk groups – the Government will set out further details on which groups will be eligible.
- Free symptomatic testing will remain available to social care staff
Workers within healthcare facilities:
Due to the higher-risk nature of health and social care settings, the advice for staff members working in these settings has not changed.
If a staff member develops COVID-19 symptoms
For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if any member of staff has any of the symptoms listed above, even if those symptoms are mild:
- they are advised to stay at home and arrange to have a PCR test
- if at home (off-duty), they should not attend work while awaiting their PCR test result and should notify their employer or line manager immediately
- If, at work, they should inform their employer or line manager and return home as soon as possible
Please click here to see an overview of the relevant information for healthcare professionals
As of 22nd February 2022, the government introduced a new staged approach to easing protective measures to help Scotland manage and recover from the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Please see the Scottish indicative timeline for remaining legal covid protections to be lifted:
Monday 28th February 2022
- Vaccine certification will no longer be legally required
Monday 21st March 2022
- Current legal requirements on the use of face coverings, the collection of customer details for contact tracing purposes, and for businesses, service providers and places of worship to have regard to guidance on Covid and to take reasonably practicable measures set out in the guidance are expected to be lifted (subject to the state of the pandemic)
- Access to lateral flow and PCR tests will continue to be free of charge, ahead of a detailed transition plan being published on the future of Scotland’s test and protect program in March.
People who test positive for COVID-19 will continue to be asked to self-isolate to reduce the risk of infecting other people. Any changes to the recommended period of self-isolation will be considered by the government on an ongoing basis.
Workers within healthcare facilities (Scotland)
The Scottish Government has set out separate guidance for health and social care workers. Please click here, to find the relevant information for health and social care workers.
Wales remains at Coronavirus alert level zero.
As of 28th January 2022, the rules regarding Covid-19 in Wales has changed.
Please see the Welsh indicative timeline for remaining legal covid protections to be lifted:
18th February 2022:
- There is no longer a legal requirement for individuals to prove their vaccination status using the domestic COVID pass or to provide proof of a recent negative lateral flow test or medical exemption to gain entry to certain events and venues in Wales.
28th February 2022:
- The wearing of face coverings is only a legal requirement, in indoor public areas (when the public has access to the premises), of shops, health and social care settings, and on public transport.
- This includes retail premises, close contact services (such as hair salons and barbers, nail and beauty salons), takeaways, and taxis.
These requirements apply, unless you are exempt, or have a reasonable excuse not to
Workers within healthcare facilities (Wales):
The Welsh Government has set out separate guidance for health and social care workers. Please click here, to find the relevant information for healthcare workers who are contacts of someone who has tested positive for covid-19.
As of Monday 28th February 2022, the rules regarding Coronavirus in Ireland have changed.
Monday 28 February 2022
- Face masks are no longer mandatory but you should still wear masks on public transport and in healthcare settings.
The Irish government has provided guidance on “what to do about Covid-19 symptoms”. Please see a summary below, and click here to see the full information.
If you have a confirmed COVID-19 infection:
- Are 13 years old or older, you should wear a Medical grade or FFP2 mask for 10 days. Your isolation period is 7 days.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and are over 55, or have a compromised immune system, or work with those who have compromised immune systems: Self isolate and get a PCR test. Follow public health advice on the test result
- For all others: No test required but self-isolate until 48 hours after symptoms resolve
If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19:
- If you are a healthcare worker identified as a household close contact, repeat antigen testing is required, unless you have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous 3 months.
Please click here to find the relevant guidance for healthcare professionals and care homes in Northern Ireland.
What do I do if I have coronavirus?
Self-isolation helps reduce the risk of passing COVID-19 onto others and is encouraged by governments.
Depending on the nature of work, some clients will expect workers to stay home if workers have covid-19. Self-isolation is mandatory for Flexers working in health and social care and specific roles within the hospitality industry.
What happens if you inform us of your covid status?
If you choose to inform Indeed Flex of your self-isolation, coronavirus symptoms, or a positive test, we will do the following:
- Cancel your upcoming shifts for the next 5 days
Please be aware that once shifts are canceled, they may be taken by other flexers or removed by clients.
Strikes will only be removed on a case-by-case basis for cancellations if you have chosen to inform us about your covid status.
What we will do with this information :
Changes to this guidance
Government and public health guidelines, restrictions, and business and industry best practices regarding COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines are changing rapidly as the pandemic develops, further research is conducted, and additional vaccines are approved and distributed. We reserve the right to modify this policy at any time in our sole discretion to adapt to changing circumstances and business needs, consistent with our commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for all workers.