Self-isolation and return to work following COVID-19 contact
With the changes made on 16 August 2021 to the requirements for self-isolation in England and when staff may return to work if they have been ‘pinged’ by the NHS COVID-19 app or been in close contact with somebody who has COVID-19, Public Health England (PHE) have update their guidance.
Fully vaccinated staff who have been identified as a contact of a positive COVID-19 case will no longer be expected to isolate. The following safeguards should be implemented for them to safely return to work:
- A negative PCR test needs to be obtained prior to returning to work and staff must not return to work while awaiting the PCR test result.
- The staff member has had two doses of an approved vaccine, and is at least two weeks (14 days) post double vaccination at the point of exposure.
- Provision of subsequent, daily negative LFD antigen tests for a minimum of 10 days following their last contact with the case before commencing a shift (with test results reported to Test and Trace via the web portal and to their duty manager or an identified senior staff member). Any contact who has a positive LFD test should self-isolate and arrange a PCR test.
- The staff member is and remains asymptomatic.
- Continued use of IPC measures, in line with the current UK IPC guidance.
Numark would like to remind Pharmacy contractors that the Infection and Prevention Control (IPC) guidance still remains in place within healthcare settings, including pharmacies.
The IPC guidance for community pharmacies is:
- Facemasks/coverings should be used by patients (unless exempt) and visitors when entering a care setting, which would include community pharmacies; and
- Areas where triaging for COVID-19 is not possible, for example in community pharmacies:
- Signage at entry points advising of the necessary precautions
- Staff should maintain 2 metres physical distance with customers/service users, using floor markings, clear screens or wear surgical face masks (Type IIR) where this is not possible
- Patients/individuals with symptoms should be advised not to enter the premises
To help support our members, Numark has designed a face covering poster that can be displayed in shop windows or on doors to request that members of the public entering the shop should wear a face covering.
Download and print the Numark face covering poster to display in the windows in your pharmacy: