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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE – NEW ALERT LEVELS

The “live” news on Covid-19 this week has, of course, been the announcement of the new 3-tier system by the Prime Minister on Monday with the subsequent controversy around whether certain areas should be in Tier 3 (very high).  The main implications for business are around the hospitality sector (and it soften forgotten supply chain) and won’t have much bearing on MTA members other than the general advice to work from home if you can and to ensure that work places are operating in a Covid-secure way.  It is interesting that the advice around continuing to operate is missing from the details around Tier 3 but, again, this is likely to be aimed at the hospitality industry.

There has also been discussion about whether it is possible to enter, or leave, a very high risk area for work purposes.  The guidance makes clear that this can be done but should be avoided where possible.  It states that ‘you should avoid staying overnight’ if you have moved into a high risk area or have come from a high risk area (see below).

You can check the details of the new 3-tiers at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-new-local-covid-alert-levels where there is also a detailed list of the areas of England that are in the various levels, with a postcode checker available at https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions which also has details of the areas moving into Tier 2 tomorrow (Saturday 17th).

There is separate advice for companies based in Scotland (at https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/), Wales (at https://gov.wales/local-lockdown) and Northern Ireland (at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-what-restrictions-mean-you).

Finally on Coronavirus for this week and picking up on the theme of travelling for work, a reminder that the list of countries from which arrivals in the UK don’t require a period of quarantine on arrival can be checked at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors?utm.  The changes to the list this week include the removal of Italy from the list, balanced to some extent by Crete being added back to the list.  However, remember that there is also an exemption which covers people travelling for certain types of work, including “workers with specialist technical skills for essential or emergency works or services (including construction, commissioning, installation, maintenance, and repairs and safety checks) to ensure the continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage or preservation of goods”.  Details of these exemptions can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules by scroll down what is quite a long list - it does not, of course, apply if they have been on holiday!