COVID-19 - Support for businesses to reopen safely
If you are an employer, the information below tells you what you should do if anyone in your workplace develops symptoms of COVID-19.
You can also download an early outbreak management action card for your business sector. This card, developed by Public Health England (PHE), provides key steps that business owners or operators should take to quickly identify and contain any potential COVID-19 outbreak.
What is considered to be a coronavirus outbreak?
An outbreak is classified as two or more cases linked by a time and a setting. For COVID-19, this is two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the workplace within a few days of each other.
What to do if an employee develops symptoms
If an employee develops symptoms, they should complete a test as soon as possible. Their contacts in the workplace do not need to go into self-isolation at this point. They can find out more about booking a test on the NHS website.
What to do if an employee tests positive (a case)
Please contact the Swindon Public Health team’s COVID-19 Response Team by email if a single positive case is identified: CovidResponse@swindon.gov.uk. The team can provide advice and guidance on what you should do, specific to your work location.
When should a business contact the PHE South West health protection team for support?
You should contact the PHE South West health protection team if:
- the number of cases in your business exceeds five within 14 days
- you have taken the actions outlined in the action cards but are still seeing more cases
- you think you might need to close because of the number of people affected
- somebody from your workplace has been admitted to hospital
- you are getting significant interest from local media
If you are unsure whether you need to contact the South West health protection team, you can contact the Swindon COVID-19 Response Team for advice: CovidResponse@swindon.gov.uk
How are contacts identified?
If an employee tests positive, NHS Test and Trace will ask for contacts. The criteria used to identify contacts is as follows:
- Having face-to-face contact with someone (less than 1m away)
- Spending more than 15 minutes within 2m of someone
- Travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even a short journey) or close to them on a plane
The criteria above may be useful for supporting employees to think proactively about who their contacts have been.
What should contacts do?
Contacts who do not have symptoms should self-isolate for 10 days and follow the NHS Test and Trace guidance for contacts. Self-isolating means that you must not leave the house, even to buy food or other essentials, and any exercise must be taken within the home. People in a contact’s household or bubble do not need to self-isolate unless the contact or any household members develop symptoms.
Contacts who do not have symptoms should not take a test. The test only tells you your positive/negative test for a single point in time, and it can take up to 10 days for COVID-19 symptoms to appear. This means you must self-isolate for the full 10 days. If you develop symptoms at any point you should take a test.