Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Guidance for Businesses
You can read about the current Coronavirus restrictions affecting businesses on the Government website.
On this page you will find information to help businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. You will find information about, testing for employees, responding to cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and how you can operate safely.
COVID-19 Testing for employees with symptoms
If an employee has symptoms of Coronavirus they must stay at home and book a test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
COVID-19 Testing for employees without symptoms
Businesses are asked to direct their staff to pharmacy collect and online ordering to continue accessing rapid lateral flow tests. As we continue to return to normal, twice-weekly testing remains key and we recommend people continue to test.
Anyone who lives or works in Stockton-on-Tees who does not have symptoms can also be tested at the Borough's Community Testing sites for people without symptoms, or collect tests to use at home.
You can find out how to access these tests on the COVID-19 Testing page.
Cases of COVID-19 in the workplace
If you are notified of a case of COVID-19 in your workplace, please get in touch and let us know by completing this COVID-19 contact us form.
You should aim to identity any workplace close contacts immediately. The Council’s Public Health Team can help you with this.
The advice for close contacts is:
- If they are fully vaccinated they will need to take a PCR test. If the test result is positive they must self-isolate for ten days starting from when they took the test, or if they develop symptoms, for ten days from when they started. If the test is negative, they are no longer required to self isolate, but are advised to limit contact with the clinically extremely vulnerable, take part in regular asymptomatic testing, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and practice social distancing for 10 days after their contact with the confirmed case.
- If they haven’t been vaccinated or weren't fully vaccinated until less than 14 days ago, they must self isolate, book a PCR Test and continue to self isolate regardless of whether the result is positive or negative. If the result is negative the period of isolation is ten days since they were last in contact with the person who tested positive. If their result is positive they will need to isolate for ten days starting from when they took the test, or if they develop symptoms, for ten days from when they started.
The Council’s Public Health will work with you to assess the situation and advise you on the next steps. This will include advice about further measures to manage and control an outbreak.
Health and social care employees will need to take additional precautions and they will be advised of the steps to take.
Once the close contacts of an employee, visitor or customer who has tested positive for COVID-19 have been identified (in conjunction with Public Health England or the Council's Public Health team), employers should call the NHS Test and Trace Self Isolation Hub on 020 3743 6715 with the 8 digit Test and Trace CTAS number of the person who tested positive. The close contacts will then be formally logged with NHS Test and Trace. This will generate a Test and Trace reference number for each of the close contacts.
Without the NHS Test and Trace reference number, the close contacts will not be able to apply for financial support such as the Test and Trace Support Scheme
Operating safely during the Coronavirus pandemic
Guidance has been issued by Government on how to operate businesses safely during the Coronavirus pandemic. You can read the latest guidance at the Gov.uk website.
See our COVID-19 PowerPoint presentation for more information about the latest business guidance. For further guidance, please see the Public Health briefing for businesses from August 2021 and our PowerPoint presentation on How to support Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) employees in the workplace.
The Council has supplemented this national guidance with local “Prevention Cards” which include additional local advice, guidance and contact details to help businesses to operate safely in the Borough. You can download the 'Prevention Cards' below.
If you need any further advice or assistance, please complete this COVID-19 contact us form.
There are a number of videos available to explain some of the things you can do to make sure your business reopens safely. You can watch them all on YouTube.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Public Health Team delivered a live webinar on how to open safely, which is available to watch online (please note this was produced to inform Step 2 of the Roadmap but may still be of interest).
NHS COVID Pass
The NHS COVID allows people to demonstrate that they are at a lower risk of carrying COVID-19 and transmitting it to others, by showing their test result or vaccination status. This can help businesses and organisations reduce the risk of transmission. Use of the Pass is voluntary but is encouraged to be used in facilities or events where people are likely to be in close proximity with a large number of people outside of their household, for a sustained period of time.
The NHS COVID Pass is available in the NHS app, on the NHS website, or as a letter requested by calling NHS 119.
Guidance is available for organisations considering using the Pass.
Supporting Test and Trace
NHS COVID-19 Venue Check In
Although it is no longer a requirement to record customer, staff or visitor details, venues in the following sectors should consider retaining Venue Check In as it can help reduce the risk of transmission and support contact tracing:
- Hospitality (e.g. hotels, bars, coffee shops)
- Leisure and tourism (e.g. gyms, cinemas, museums)
- Close contact services (e.g. hair and beauty salons, tattooists, tailors)
- Places of worship (e.g. churches, mosques)
- Local authority venues
This is done by displaying an NHS QR code so that staff, customers and visitors can check into your workplace using the NHS COVID-19 app, or by recording customer details separately. You can create and download your poster by visiting the Gov.uk website.
Read the full Government guidance for more information.
You can also use the guides below to make sure you are adhering to the guidelines: