- The PM has announced the Plan B restrictions will be lifted from 20 and 27 January 2022. The full statement is here – PM statement to the House of Commons on COVID-19: 19 January 2022
- In the statement the PM also said ‘The self-isolation regulations expire on 24th March, at which point I very much expect not to renew them.’
- The government has announced that the measures put in place under Plan B in England will be lifted. Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread
The government is no longer asking people to work from home if they can. People should now talk to their employers to agree arrangements to return to the office.
From 20 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in secondary school and college classrooms.
From 27 January: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and pupils in communal areas of secondary schools, nor for staff in communal areas of primaries. Directors of Public Health will only be able to recommend pupils and staff wear masks in communal areas in places where there are outbreaks or where the local public health situation justifies it, and with sign-off from the Education Secretary.
From 27 January: There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering. The government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
From 27 January: Venues and events will no longer be required by law to check visitors’ NHS COVID Pass. The NHS COVID Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis.
This guidance will be updated shortly.
Further guidance has been published relating to claiming back Statutory Sick Pay – Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) The scheme has been reintroduced. You can only claim for employees who were off work on or after 21 December 2021. The new date for PAYE scheme eligibility is 30 November 2021. The maximum number of employees you can claim for is the number you had across your PAYE schemes on 30 November 2021. 9:49am, 19 January 2022.
The guidance confirms:-
Who can use the scheme
This scheme is for employers. You can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP if:
- you have already paid your employee’s sick pay (use the SSP calculator to work out how much to pay)
- you’re claiming for an employee who’s eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
- you have a PAYE payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 30 November 2021
- you had fewer than 250 employees on 30 November 2021 across all your PAYE payroll schemes
The maximum number of employees you can claim for is the number you had across your PAYE schemes on 30 November 2021.
Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you either:
- an isolation note from NHS 111 – if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- a ‘shielding note’ or a letter from their doctor or health authority advising them to shield because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus
The scheme covers all types of employment contracts, including:
- full-time employees
- part-time employees
- employees on agency contracts
- employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts
- fixed term contracts (until the date their contract ends)
The general coronavirus guidance starts here:-