It is no longer a requirement for every business to consider Covid-19 in risk assessments or to have specific Covid-19 related measures in place.
However, it remains a requirement to protect those who will come into contact with Covid-19 due to their work activity (for example, providing care to patients with Covid-19). In those cases, a risk assessment must still be done, and control measures implemented. The HSE advice adds that employers should continue having regard to guidance available on vaccinations and on protecting those at higher risk from Covid-19, such as the advice from public health bodies and government departments.
That same day the Scottish government updated its advice to individuals on the Highest Risk List on keeping safe at work, noting how Scottish workplaces are no longer required by law to have regard to the Scottish government guidance about minimising the risk of Covid-19 transmission or take practicable measures to reduce it, although businesses are still encouraged to continue with “all protective measures” and have regard to the Safer workplaces guidance. Presently that guidance includes a recommendation for twice weekly Covid-19 testing for those without symptoms before meeting with Highest Risk List individuals
Following the update, from 18 April 2022 onwards, however, those without symptoms will no longer be asked to test before meeting with Highest Risk List individuals unless they are a close contact of a Covid-19 case. After 1st May 2022, even if they have symptoms, such individuals will no longer be advised to test.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has also issued updated guidance for organisations and employers on their data protection law compliance obligations following government relaxation of rules relating to Covid-19. They recommend businesses review practices put in place during the pandemic to check whether the personal data they collect is still necessary and consider whether it needs to be retained. In relation to staff vaccination status personal data, they recommend checking government guidance in situations where organisations and employers continue to collect this, highlighting the need to have identified a lawful basis other than “legal obligation” if the legislation relied upon has expired now.