FAQs about self isolation and COVID safety requirements in the Further Education Sector after 19 July
Despite the surge in the numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19, from today, Monday 19 July most restrictions, put in place in England to protect public health, will end. Guidance will replace legal restrictions and responsibility for making decisions to reduce the spread of the virus will shift from the government, and its public health officials, to employers and individuals.
@Helen_IMHRplus @IrwinMitchell shares seven things that schools and colleges should consider before pupils return en-mass on the 8th March 2021
On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister set out the four steps his government plans to take to lift Covid restrictions in England.
@Helen_IMHRplus @IrwinMitchell provides a deep dive on the Covid vaccine and staff from a legal perspective
Last month, the outspoken owner of Pimlico Plumbers said that he wouldn't offer a job to anyone who hasn't been vaccinated. Given that the vast majority of the UK's working population haven't been offered the vaccination yet, his approach is somewhat premature (as well as being, potentially, legally problematic). But, the issue of whether employers can insist that staff take the Covid-19 vaccine when it's offered to them is one that many are starting to grapple with. For example, it's reported that the National Care Association is taking legal advice about whether care homes can force care staff to have the vaccine after it emerged that up to one fifth of staff in some care home groups have refused to take it.
What has the Government said about vaccination?
There is no legal basis the government can rely on to force people to be vaccinated and the Green Book (which provides information for public health professionals on immunisation) says that a patient has to agree before their doctor can start any treatment. This includes administering a vaccine. The government has repeatedly emphasised that people will not be forced to have a vaccine if they don't want one. Instead, it has set out to persuade people that the vaccines are safe and that it's in everyone's interests to have one so that we can get back to some sort of normality. Clearly, if the government can't legally compel people to be vaccinated, you can't frog march your staff to the nearest vaccination centre either.
On January 4th the Prime Minister announced that England would go into a third national lockdown. The message was clear – everyone needed to stay at home to defeat the virus. And, despite reassuring the public on Sunday that schools and colleges were safe, less than 48 hours later, they were “vectors of transmission” and needed to close for all pupils other than those who were vulnerable or whose parents were key workers and for those sitting exams this month. Alternative provision, special schools and nurseries would remain open.
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