The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that a statutory instrument (SI) was made into law on 5 March 2020 that adds COVID-19 to the list of notifiable diseases and SARS-COV-2 to the list of notifiable causative agents.

This change was made by adding them to the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010 and it requires GPs to report all cases of coronavirus COVID-19 to Public Health England.

The significance of this move for the business community is that it will help companies seek compensation through their insurance policies in the event of any cancellations they may have to make as a result of the spread of the virus.

This will include lost bookings for restaurants and hotels and the move was welcomed by trade body UKHospitality.

“Businesses will need to check the terms and conditions of their insurance and make sure their insurance provider has updated their policy to include COVID-19,” UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said. “This is not going to be a remedy for all businesses, but it should help some of those who are already feeling the strain.”

The COVID-19 virus had already been declared notifiable by the Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments.

As of 9am on 5 March 2020, 18,083 people have been tested in the UK, of which 17,968 were confirmed negative and 115 were confirmed as positive.

Last reviewed 6 March 2020