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How will the Covid variant ‘Omicron’ impact on our charity? A briefing from our Executive Team on Monday 29th November 2021

This weekend the news has been dominated by updates around ‘Omicron’, the new Covid-19 variant. Urgent work is going on right now to fully understand the mutations it presents and how they may change the behaviour of the virus with regards to vaccines, treatment and transmissibility. In the meantime, the government is bringing in some actions to protect us further and we want to confirm how that might impact on you and our charity.

From tomorrow (Tuesday 30th November), face coverings will once again be compulsory in shops and on public transport. This will mean reinforcing the message in all our shops, donation centres and points and vans.  Our retail team are planning for this right now and if you work in this department and have any questions, please contact your Regional Manager.

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It’s business as usual on our front line, with Ward staff continuing to use relevant PPE.  For all other staff and volunteers, the new rules will apply to you as a member of the public, but we would also remind you that face coverings must be worn in all our buildings and offices unless you’re working alone. It’s also important to keep communal areas well ventilated.

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The government advice also confirms that anyone entering the UK will require a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and will need to self-isolate until they have a negative result. Those suspected of having Omicron will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.  Please consider this if you’re planning to travel abroad as this may impact on your back-to-work date and on colleagues who would have to cover for you when you return to the UK.

The Prime Minister has said these new rules are temporary and will be reviewed after three weeks. In the meantime, for the latest government news about how to stay safe and avoid the spread of the virus, please click HERE

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Vaccines remain our best line of defence at this time and experts are confident that our current ones will provide protection. Please note: any staff and volunteers who are based at, or regularly work at, our hospices must inform Ally Hardman by email at ahardman@cornwallhospice.co.uk of the date on which they’ve had their booster and flu jab.

Covid-19 isn’t going away any time yet and we’d like to thank you for your understanding and patience as these latest rules take effect. We know this is going to add further burdens on some of you and we’re here to support you so please don’t worry and talk to your Line Manager if you have any concerns.

We’ll be monitoring the government’s developing advice and will keep in touch as matters change over the coming weeks.

Best wishes,

Paul, Gina, Graham and Verity.