Salisbury Group guidance information on COVID-19 (updated 11:45 19/05/2020)
The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) will be updated on a regular basis and as the advice from UK government, Public Health England and related official agencies changes.
What is COVID-19?
The NHS states that “COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.” Full descriptive information can be found on the official website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
What is Salisbury doing to keep people safe and well?
We are taking the following steps to keep people safe while maintaining business as usual activities as far as practicable:
- Following the specific advice and guidance of the governments in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and Public Health England and other public health agencies
- Dedicating a team of senior people to take the lead on our response, with the team headed by the Group Managing Director
- Supporting employees who can work from home to do so
- Carefully considering the working processes for employees who cannot work from home in order to keep them safe in line with official guidance
- Asking employees to hold meetings by Skype or conference call
- Working closely with our clients and customers to support them as they react to the situation
- Monitoring the situation closely and providing as much support, care and advice as we can
What is the company’s approach to handling the situation?
We have a dedicated team working on our response to COVID-19. We are monitoring numerous sources of information and explicitly following government advice and guidance from Public Health England and related official agencies. The Group Managing Director, Andrew Lunt is chairing the dedicated team. We have developed our strategic priorities, have a fluid emergency preparedness plan and a number of contingencies. The long-term strategy is to return to operations as soon as is practicable and at all times protect Salisbury’s employees, values and reputation.
What are the restrictions on personal movement?
Effective 11 May 2020, the UK government has updated its advice for England. Please note that the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have slightly different guidance.
- Guidance for England: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
- Guidance for Wales: https://gov.wales/coronavirus
- Guidance for Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Guidance for Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
In general, we advise our employees to:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
I am or a member of my household is showing symptoms. How can I get tested?
The government is ramping up the UK’s testing capacity for COVID-19 and is encouraging more people with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested. To confirm, this test is to judge whether you currently have the coronavirus and not if you have already had it.
Anyone with symptoms can now get tested, however the tests are not suitable for children under 5 years old. You can ask for a test:
- For yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
- For someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms
You need to have the test in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It's best to ask for the test in the first 3 days, as it may take a day or two to arrange the test.
"Essential workers" are being prioritised for testing, so if this is you then please let the HR team know and they will organise a test for you or for your household member directly with the health authorities. The test will be undertaken either at a regional testing centre or via an at home testing kit.
If you want to organise the test yourself, you can do so via https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ - but please let us know if you are doing this so we can be aware you have symptoms and need to self-isolate.
Don’t forget that if any member of your household is showing symptoms and you are waiting for a test to be scheduled or reported on, you must continue to self-isolate at home. Once you’ve got the test results, you’ll need to let us know as normal so we can be aware whether or not you need to continue self-isolating.
If you or a member of your household are showing symptoms and you want to request a test, please let us know via email@example.com and we will be happy to support you.
What should I do if I think I have caught the virus?
As well as the restrictions on personal movement outlined above, please follow this advice, which adheres to guidance from the UK government and Public Health England:
- Review the testing guidance above and contact firstname.lastname@example.org regarding a test
- People experiencing mild symptoms – such as a new continuous cough, fever or loss/change in your normal sense of smell or taste – should self-isolate for 7 days
- For mild symptoms, do not telephone NHS111 but report it online at the special website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
- If you have severe symptoms or your health is deteriorating – you must phone the NHS111 immediately and seek medical help
- If anyone in your house has the virus or the symptoms, all members of the household without symptoms are to self-isolate for 14 days
- Reduce your general risk by taking care with personal hygiene and washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds
- Remember that exposure risk is 15 minutes within 2 metres of an infected person
- If you are affected by the virus in any way then please let us know by calling your line manager or contacting email@example.com
The NHS has detailed guidance here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
How should I stay safe if I don’t have the virus?
Follow the personal movement guidance set out by the government in your area of the UK (see above for links). Reduce your general risk by taking care with personal hygiene and washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds. Remember that exposure risk is 15 minutes within 2 metres of an infected person. If you are affected by the virus in any way then please let us know by calling your line manager or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are our main offices still open?
All our phone lines and email addresses are open as normal. We have reduced access to our main offices, asked people to hold non-business critical meetings by Skype or conference call, and asked everyone to follow the public health agencies’ guidance on personal hygiene. It is important that all of us comply with the rules on personal movement. Please stay in regular contact with your line manager throughout this time.
What should I do if my role requires me to travel to buildings and facilities?
Some employees have roles that are supporting an essential service at this time - this could be a public service or an essential service in the private sector such as logistics. If you are unsure of what this means for you and your role, please discuss it directly with your line manager who will assist you.
Salisbury delivers important services to clients and due to this importance, continuity of service is critical. We need to mitigate the risk to our people while delivering these critical services. Clients are reviewing their operating procedures for their facilities and we are working closely with them in a spirit of partnership. When changes affect specific sites or specific parts of our business, we will let you know what is happening and how it affects you and your teams.
Do I need to wear a face mask at work?
The government has now updated its guidance to recommend the use of face masks. If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas, for example on public transport or in some shops.
Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with. Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.
A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.
Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.
It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.
You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose.
Who should I contact if I have problems with my IT and equipment?
You can contact the IT service desk as normal via IThelpdesk@salisburygroup.com or 020 7788 1900.
I am worried about information circulating on social media. What should I do?
You should only refer to the latest guidance from the NHS, Public Health England and other official agencies. The accuracy of information circulating on social media cannot be verified and we ask all staff members to remain calm and follow the official advice only. Please do not contribute to the circulation or sharing of rumour on social media as this is unhelpful and causes unnecessary anxiety for others.
Where can I view the latest medical advice?
The NHS has set up a dedicated website which we recommend you visit and read: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19. This website also contains further links for the NHS agencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Who should I speak to if I have any concerns?
Please speak to your line manager in the first instance. You can also contact email@example.com and have a confidential conversation with a member of the HR team.