• ESS Consultants

COVID-19: How it affects your staff or event

Update following latest guidance and COBRA meeting 12th March.



The government have updated their advice for the public, events and businesses following a COBRA meeting this afternoon (12th March).


Some key questions being asked include whether events or mass gatherings are being banned, or what to do if a member of staff in your warehouse or business suspects they have (or may have come into contact with) COVID-19.


The situation is fast evolving and changing, so it is important that you keep up to date with relevant and reputable advice. Follow this link here to see a variety of resources available (at the end of the article)



A member of crew or staff think they are showing symptoms


If someone does start showing symptoms they would need to check with the NHS website, and self isolates for 7 days.


The latest government advice (as of 12/03/20 @ 1800) is anyone showing the following symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate;


  • High fever (above 37), or

  • New persistent cough, or

  • Both of the above.


If a crew member has COVID-19, or suspects they do, do we need to close the warehouse/venue/business


The whole site would not have to self-isolate, the best solution is to maintain good standard of hygiene, including;



  • Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes and bin the tissue.

  • Regularly wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs.

  • Notify the NHS and production team if you have travelled recently or develop any symptoms mentioned above.


Basic good hygiene practises


Washing hands:

You should wash your hands regularly, especially after:


  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Using public transport

  • Visiting the toilet

  • Before/after treating a cut

  • You should wash your hands with hot water and soap for the amount of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice (around 20 seconds).If you do not have immediate access to soap and water, then use alcohol-based hand gel if available.


Method for washing hands


  1. Wet your hands with water.

  2. Apply enough soap to cover your hands.

  3. Rub your hands together.

  4. Use 1 hand to rub the back of the other hand and clean in between the fingers.

  5. Do the same with the other hand.

  6. Rub your hands together and clean in between your fingers.

  7. Rub the back of your fingers against your palms.

  8. Rub your thumb using your other hand.

  9. Do the same with the other thumb.

  10. Rub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your other hand.

  11. Do the same with other hand.

  12. Rinse your hands with water.

  13. Dry your hands completely with a disposable towel.

  14. Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap.


Coughing/sneezing


You should always carry a tissue with you and use it to cough/sneeze into.If you have coughed/sneezed into a tissue you should wash your hands and avoid touching items that others may use until you have washed your hands.


Avoid spreading germs

You should avoid putting things in your mouth, such as pens or sunglasses.Ensure that all utensils are cleaned prior to use.




Government advice


Anyone with a "new, continuous" cough or high temperature is now advised to self-isolate for seven days, as the UK government moves to the "delay" phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus.


PM Boris Johnson said it was "the worst public health crisis for a generation" and warned many families they would "lose loved ones before their time".


He said it was important to get the timing right for stricter measures.

In total, 10 people have now died in the UK with the virus.


Schools have been advised to cancel trips abroad, while people over 70 and those with pre-existing health conditions have been told not to go on cruises.


There have been 596 confirmed cases across the country. However, the actual number of people infected could be between 5,000 and 10,000, the government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said.


As part of the new measures, testing will only focus on identifying people with the virus in hospital.


People with symptoms are no longer required to call NHS 111, as the system is under strain, but are instead urged to look for information on the NHS website and 111 online.


Prime Minister Mr Johnson said: "Some people compare it to seasonal flu, alas that is not right. Owing to the lack of immunity, this disease is more dangerous.


"It is going to spread further and I must level with you, I must level with the British public, many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time."


He said there was no need to close schools at the moment - as the Republic of Ireland did just hours earlier.

He explained: "The scientific advice is that this could do more harm than good at this time - but of course we are keeping this under review and this again may change as the disease spreads."


Are events or mass gatherings cancelled


Like other countries, the government is also considering calling for the suspension of major public events such as sporting fixtures - but this would be a measure primarily to protect public services.


"The scientific advice is this has little effect on the spread - but it does place a burden on other public services," Mr Johnson said.

However, Scotland has said that mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled from next week, to reduce the burden on emergency services.



What could be the future measures


Future measures to control the spread of the disease could include stricter self-isolation arrangements, where if one household member falls ill, the entire household is asked to stay home for 14 days.


As the epidemic reaches its peak, it is likely elderly people and those with health conditions will be told to cut social contact and stay home.


The UK's chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said it remained too early in the course of the epidemic to take such action, and warned against prematurely cutting down social interactions for elderly or vulnerable people.


"It has big practical implications," he said. "And may lead to loneliness and other issues which are clearly very undesirable for them.


"While we will need to move to that stage, we do not think this is the right moment along the pandemic to do so. But that point will come."

The prime minister also stressed that the most "draconian" measures must not be triggered too early.



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