Encouraging Rapid Lateral Flow Testing and COVID-19 Vaccinations, plus Returning the Team to their Workplace

As the government continues to ease lock down restrictions, it is more important than ever that we all continue to play our part in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus.

With free Rapid Lateral Flow tests now available to everyone in England over the age of 18, and the vaccine roll-out continuing at pace,  encouraging your team to participate in home covid testing (where not available in the workplace) and / or to take the vaccine when it is offered to them,  is not only sensible but also helps to protect your ongoing business operations.

While employees can’t be forced to take tests or have the vaccine, providing easy access to relevant information will help them to make an informed decision.

If you would like to direct your team to helpful resources and quick access to relevant services, I have provided some template wording and web links below, that you can pick and choose from to share as appropriate. 

I have also included some text regarding returning to the workplace when lockdown restrictions ease further under Step 3 of the roadmap on 17th May 2021 and most premises can re-open. This applies to all businesses that are not classed as high risk (high risk being places like night clubs). Further details can be found here:

 COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (Summary)

Finally, don’t forget to keep your COVID-Secure Health and Safety Risk Assessments and safety measures up to date. If you need a template and guidance, please visit:

Risk assessment

Template Wording

  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Free Lateral Flow Tests

You may have seen in the news recently that as of Friday 9th April 2021, the government is providing anyone in England, aged over 18, with access to free Covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests. These can be collected from participating Covid Testing Sites and Pharmacies or you can arrange to have them delivered directly to your home.

Testing plays a critical role in the fight against Covid-19. It helps find cases of the virus so that individuals can isolate themselves to help break chains of transmission and reduce the spread of the disease. Around one in three people with coronavirus do not have symptoms, and rapid tests can be used to help detect the virus. 

Rapid Lateral Flow Tests provide results in around 30 minutes and whilst they are not compulsory, we would like to encourage you to consider participating in regular home testing, not only to protect yourself and your family, but also your work colleagues and others who you come into contact with. 

Details of how to find your nearest lateral flow test collection point can be accessed below. 

Find pharmacies with rapid lateral flow test kits 

Find covid testing sites supplying lateral flow test kits

Alternatively, if you would like to arrange to have tests delivered to your home, they can be ordered here:

Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests

[I hope that you have found the information above of help and thank you for your continued support during this challenging time].

  1. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations

As I am sure you are also aware, the government’s national coronavirus vaccination programme is now well underway. 

Although it is your choice as to whether or not you have the Covid-19 vaccination, we encourage you to take the opportunity to be vaccinated when you are offered it. The two doses given will reduce your chance of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus. If you are concerned about the coronavirus vaccination, we encourage you to make an informed decision by reading about the vaccine programme via official sources. The link to the NHS information page is given below. This web page gives information on the safety, effectiveness and potential side effects of the coronavirus vaccination.

NHS-coronavirus-vaccinations-guidance

Vaccinations are offered free of charge by the NHS and you will be contacted when it is your turn to have the vaccine. If you are not currently registered with a GP, we suggest that you register with a GP surgery as soon as you can: How to register with a GP surgery

[I hope that you have found the information above of help and thank you for your continued support during this challenging time].

  1. Post-coronavirus lockdown – returning to the [workplace / office]

As you will already know, the government is starting to ease the coronavirus lockdown restrictions and we are now working towards resuming normal operations as quickly as possible. With effect from 17th May 2021, under Step 3 of the government’s Roadmap out of Lockdown, most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will be able to reopen. Further details can be found here:

COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (Summary)

With this in mind, this [letter / email] is to let you know that we are looking to resume our [workplace / office] based working by 17th May 2021 at the very latest. By way of background, we believe that [explain why team members being recalled to the workplace e.g. difficulties in carrying out work from home].

The safety of our team members is our priority and we have carried out a risk assessment that relates specifically to the challenges posed by Covid-19. A copy of this risk assessment [can be found xxx / is available from xxx / is attached]. Our risk assessment will be kept under constant review, taking into account operational requirements and the latest government guidelines.

We have introduced new measures in the workplace to protect the safety of our team members, including:

  • [insert details]
  • [insert details]
  • [insert details]
  • [insert details]

Full details of these changes can be found in our latest Covid Secure guidelines, a copy of which is attached. 

It is your responsibility to follow these safe working measures at all times. As these new guidelines form part of our Health and Safety obligations, failure to keep yourself and others safe may be treated as a disciplinary offence and dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedures.

Your [Line Manager] will be in contact with you shortly to discuss the arrangements for your first day back in the workplace.

[I hope that you have found the information above of help and thank you for your continued support during this challenging time].