CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – Advice For Employers

How High Is The Risk From Coronavirus?

The risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19) in workplaces is currently low.

However, it is good practice to implement a few simple basic hygiene principles. Ensure everyone at work follows simple hygiene rules, such as:

• washing hands thoroughly with hot water and soap
• using tissues when sneezing or coughing and throwing them away in a bin

Make sure employees and managers know how to spot symptoms of coronavirus and are clear on any relevant processes, for example sickness reporting and sick pay, and procedures in case someone in the workplace develops the virus.

• make sure there are clean places to wash hands with hot water and soap, and encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly
• give out Hand Sanitisers and tissues to staff, and encourage them to use them

We do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person, however, similar viruses spread in cough droplets.

It’s highly unlikely coronavirus can be spread through packages from affected countries or through food.

How To Avoid Catching Or Spreading Germs

There’s currently no commercially available vaccine for coronavirus, however, there are reports that scientists have developed a vaccine which is now subject to regulatory testing and approval.

But there are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading.


  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Symptoms Of Coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

Urgent advice:Call 111 now if you’ve been:                                                                     

  • to Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
  • to other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Tell 111 about any recent travel and any symptoms you have.

How To Isolate Yourself If You Think You May Have

If there’s a chance you could have coronavirus, you may be asked to isolate yourself. This means that for up to 14 days, you should:

  • stay at home
  • not go to work, school or public areas
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out errands for you
  • try to avoid visitors to your home – it’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food

While the risk to people in the UK is low, these steps can help reduce the possible spread of infection.

Use our simple video to help staff understand how to effectively wash their hands

See our previous blog for further information about the coronavirus: HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Thank you to our friends at R B Health and Safety for providing some of the information used in this Blog.