February 25, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus February Update


The Government have increased the risk rating for Coronavirus threat from Low to Moderate.

The ongoing outbreak of coronavirus continues to spread across Europe and the wider global community.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Recommendations and Advice for the Public

Let’s go through best practice advice issued by the WHO for the general public. Employers are free to share this with their employees; plus, it’s good hygiene practice that will also prevent the spread of other diseases e.g. flu and the common cold.

During previous outbreaks due to other coronaviruses e.g. Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), human-to-human transmission occurred through droplets, contact and fomites, suggesting that the transmission mode of the COVID-19 can be similar. The basic principles to reduce the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections include the following:

  • Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
  • Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.
  • People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
  • Within health care facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices in hospitals, especially in emergency departments.

WHO does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers. In case of symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel, travellers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider.

What do employers need to do?

To find out the implications for businesses across the UK, in particular their H&S and HR teams, check out our blog post: Coronavirus: What Employers Need to Know.

Alternatively, watch our Coronavirus webinar.

**Information in this blog was correct at the time of  writing, however with government and legislation changes happening daily some of this may now be out of date.** 

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About the author

Philip Barker

Philip has worked for Moorepay for over nine years, starting as a Health & Safety Consultant in February 2008 before taking up the position of Consultancy Manager in January 2015. Coming from a retail background, both as a store manager and health & safety professional, he already had a good cross industry experience. Working at Moorepay has provided an opportunity to broaden both knowledge and experience across a wide range of industry sectors. Philip started his health & safety career after a number of years managing retail stores and holds a HNC in Environmental Health Studies, a Diploma in Environmental Policy and a NEBOSH Diploma.