Coronavirus advice for healthcare workers and educational settings

With the four nations of the UK now operating with different measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, it is important to review the guidance relevant to where you live and also where you work.

Healthcare professionals have specific advice when dealing with cases, symptoms, testing and isolation; guidance is regularly updated in the links provided below. Updates on coronavirus testing for NHS staff can be found here.

Education professionals have specific advice when working in educational settings, normal isolation and test and trace applies should you develop symptoms.

Current advice and restrictions for each of the four nations can be found below, along with the latest international travel advice for international healthcare professionals.

Tiered restrictions are across England – more details can be found here.

Healthcare Professionals advice

COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings.

Education Professionals advice

Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell. If you have, or are showing symptoms of, coronavirus (COVID-19) (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell – anosmia), or have someone in your household who is, you should not be in a childcare setting, school or college. You should be at home, in line with the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

For Education professionals working during the coronavirus pandemic please refer to Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

As of 1st November 2020, Scotland is operating a five-tier protection system, details of which can be found here.

Wales is no longer under the ‘firebreak’ restrictions. Current restrictions and guidance can be found here.

Healthcare Professionals should refer to Public Health Wales for regular updates.

Currently additional restrictions are in place in Northern Ireland. More information can be found here.

Healthcare Professionals should refer to HSC Public Health Agency for regular updates.

International Travel

An exemption was originally put in place, at the beginning of June 2020, which meant registered health and care professionals did not have to self-isolate when travelling to England from overseas.

Following the reopening of travel routes, and as more people begin to holiday abroad, the government has removed this exemption and, from 31 July 2020, all registered health and care professionals must lawfully self-isolate when returning to England from a high-risk country.

As of the 15th December, anyone returning to England from a destination not on the travel corridor list will be able to choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test so you can stop self-isolating quicker than ten days. The earliest you can take the test is 5 days after you leave the overseas destination and can only stop self-isolating if the result is negative. A full list of private providers can be found here and more details on the Test to Release scheme can be found on GOV.UK.

The current list of countries exempt from self-isolation measures is available on GOV.UK. The data for all countries and territories is kept under constant review, and the exemptions list is updated with any changes on a regular basis as and when required to reflect the shifting international health picture.

Health and care professionals returning from a country which has a travel corridor to the UK will not be required to self-isolate on return.

We also advise you to ensure you have a full induction to familiarise yourself with local Trust or Provider policies and be confident with escalation procedures at the location as these can vary.

If you need support regarding any aspects of travelling or working between countries please contact us on coronavirusadvice@athona.com

If you have any health or wellbeing concerns or for more information or support, please contact Tracie Spires, Associate Director of Quality and Insourcing.