Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which spread around the world as a global pandemic in 2020. Since the pandemic arrived in the UK in March 2020, a range of public health measures and restrictions have been implemented. These have included legal requirements for people to self-isolate themselves if they have symptoms or believe they are infected.

Following a successful vaccine rollout through 2021, formal restrictions have gradually been relaxed and replaced by best practice public health advice. The UK Government ended any remaining legal coronavirus restrictions in England on 24 February 2022. This includes removal of the requirement to self-isolate. Equivalent changes have been introduced in the rest of the UK but in some cases with slightly different timelines.

Employers and businesses are advised to keep up to date with the changes that apply in their regions. Advice from the Health & Safety Executive is that they should continue to be guided by their risk assessments and take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission at work.

This topic describes many of the control measures that businesses can consider in their workplaces, such as increasing ventilation, as well as issues such as protecting vulnerable workers, managing an outbreak, vaccination and “Long Covid”.

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