Covid-19 – Latest Guidance (Omicron) – 3 December 2021

John Cook


  • On 1 December 2021, the Gov guidance, NHS Test and Trace in the workplace  was updated in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant. Close contacts of confirmed or suspected Omicron cases must stay at home and self-isolate even if they are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months.
  • New travel restrictions are also being imposed:-
    • From Monday 6 December all international air travellers to the United States must provide proof of a negative test taken within 24 hours of their flight, reduced from the current rule of 72 hours.
    • From 1 December all UK travellers to Spain (excluding children under 12) will need to show proof of full vaccination.
    • From 4 December UK arrivals in France must provide proof of a negative Covid test – even if they are double vaccinated.
    • All travellers arriving into the UK need to take a PCR test on or before day two and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Close Contacts (reminder)

close contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You can be a contact anytime from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms, or before the date of their test if they did not have symptoms, and up to 10 days after. This is when the virus can be passed to others.

A workplace risk assessment may be undertaken to determine this, but a contact can be anyone who:

  • lives in the same household as another person who has COVID-19 symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
  • has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:
    • face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
    • been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
    • been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)

A person may also be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

NHS Test and Trace will not usually consider someone to be a contact if their interaction with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 took place through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen – as long as there has been no other contact such as those in the list above.

The wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) will not be considered as a mitigation when assessing whether a recent contact is likely to have transmitted the virus. Only full medical-grade PPE worn in health and care settings will be considered.

If a person is notified by NHS Test and Trace that they are a close contact, they must self-isolate unless they are exempt. (fully vaccinated, below the age of 18 years and 6 months).

Exemptions do not apply to contacts of a confirmed or suspected case of the Omicron variant.

General Guidance

The general coronavirus guidance starts here:-


John Cook – Solicitor

John Cook

I am a qualified Solicitor with over 30 years’ experience running a business, managing a team, appearing in the Employment Tribunal and advising on almost every conceivable employment law and HR issue. Clients appreciate my down to earth and straight forward approach that allows them to achieve results and manage their organisation more effectively. I take the worry out of employment law and HR issues with a proactive and robust approach.