COVID-19 supplier information

On Monday 16 August 2021, the UK Government relaxed the rules in England on self-isolating. These have already been relaxed in Wales and Scotland.

The change in rules will mean fully vaccinated people and those under the age of 18 will no longer need to automatically self-isolate should they be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace system. They should still take a PCR test and self-isolate if the test is positive and / or they develop symptoms but if the test is negative there is no longer a need to self-isolate.

Anyone not fully vaccinated, or vaccinated within the last 14 days, will still need to self-isolate if they are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace system.

For clarity, a ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You can be a contact any time from two days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from two days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to 10 days after, as this is the period during which they can pass the infection on to others.

In light of lifting restrictions across the UK, on Monday 16 August 2021, Balfour Beatty archived its COVID-19 Site Operating Procedures. Instead, we have move to a set of basic principles, supported by our normal risk assessment process.

Each site, contract or office lead is required to complete a simple risk assessment using the following basic principles as guidance (see principle three for further information on risk assessments). The controls each site, contract or office leadership team choose to put in place will depend on the size and type of site or office, and how it is organised, operated, managed, and regulated.

Those sites and contracts which have up to now been guided by customer decisions should continue to follow the advice given by the customer.

The nine basic principles are: 

All colleagues should:

  1. Continue to stay away from your place of work if you have had a positive test or are displaying symptoms. If a worker or a visitor has a new persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate, take a PCR test and follow NHS guidance. See our self-isolation flowchart.
  1. Continue to support NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all employees, customers, visitors, and contractors for 21 days. Check ‘Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace’ for details but apply the new flexibilities around removing the need for self-isolation for those who have been fully vaccinated. These flexibilities are already in place for Wales and Scotland and will apply in England from Monday 16 August.

All site and contract leads and office facilities leads, and line managers where appropriate, should:

  1. Carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment and share the outcome with the workforce. This risk assessment must consider visitors to sites or offices including agency workers, contractors as well as our employees. Arrangements must be in place, as with other risks, to monitor and review the risk assessment on a regular basis. We recommend the measures put in place as a result of the risk assessment should be clearly displayed at site and office entrances for all employees, contractors, and visitors to see.
  1. Ensure good ventilation and adequate supply of fresh air by keeping windows open where possible or mechanical ventilation. Further guidance is available on the HSE website. 
  1. Maintain a good cleaning regime. Consider how often people touch surfaces and prioritise those that are high communal touch points. Clean shared tools and equipment between handovers and provide sufficient effective cleaning materials.
  1. Support good hand hygiene. Continue to promote frequent hand washing, use signs and posters to remind people of good handwashing techniques and ensure sufficient availability of handwashing facilities. Maintain availability of hand sanitisers at site and office entrances and exits for all to use.
  1. Continue to encourage sensible distancing. Although social distancing rules (2m or 1m plus) have been removed, encouraging 1m or a little more space will still help to reduce airborne transmissions. Consider how to reduce crowding in busy areas and be mindful of individuals’ personal space. One-way systems can be removed.
  1. Commuting and shared travel. Continue to support flexibilities to reduce travel at peak times. In-work transport and car sharing can resume as normal but encourage good ventilation and prevent overcrowding. Continue to support those who choose to wear face coverings, or where local rules require.
  1. Where additional controls have been provided for workspaces consider keeping them if they are not intrusive, for example discrete screens between workstations. 

Please bear in mind measures will differ from site to site and office to office, so if you are travelling to a different place of work, please make sure you familiarise yourselves with any local measures.

COVID-19 is a dynamic and evolving situation and Balfour Beatty will respond swiftly and decisively to any change.