This remains the key resource for the latest information and advice. The information below is updated regularly, however it does not supersede advice or information provided by the relevant Government bodies and regulators.
The UK Government Coronavirus webpages bring together guidance for the general public and for businesses. You can access it at: www.gov.uk/coronavirus. The guidance issued for the general public includes a list of those ‘affected areas’ where it recommends that returning travellers stay indoors and ‘self-isolate’. Social distancing guidance is here and self-isolating guidance is here.
You can get a throat and nose swab test for whether you currently have coronavirus. This is part of the Government's 5-pillar strategy for coronavirus testing. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.
You can apply to get a test if you’re in one of the following groups:
The Government says it is also testing:
This means anyone in one of these groups can find out whether they have the virus. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.
The UK Government has published guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities following the announcement that schools will be closed from Monday 23 March to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The guidance contains details of those children for who schools are being asked to continue to provide provision, including children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
The guidance states that schools should continue to provide provision for the children of parents who have roles that are “critical to the COVID-19 response” or who those who work “as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment”.
The full section on Health and Social Care staff reads as follows:
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
The guidance states that, “If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.”
The Scottish Government have issued separate guidance on what constitutes a “key worker”. Rather than provide a list, the Scottish Government has identified three different categories of “key worker” and are enabling local authorities to interpret this guidance depending on their regional priorities.
The Welsh Government have issued separate guidance on what constitutes a “critical worker”, which mirrors that published on “key workers” in England.
The NI Minister of Education issued the following statement including information on key workers.
There are different ways to volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic depending on whether you can go out. You can find out more here.
The UK Government has set out guidance for employers and businesses specifically to support employers and businesses with their preparations. This provides guidance on what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in business settings; what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas; and actions to take if staff come into contact with someone who is self-isolating or is a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has established a helpline for businesses. Please contact them on 0300 456 3565 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, or email email@example.com.
Additionally, ACAS has published information for employees and employers, including information on simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff, sick pay and absence from work.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses with more information here.
The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:
In addition to the measures introduced by the Chancellor the Scottish Government have set out some additional efforts to support businesses during this time. These include rates relief packages for small businesses and grants for those in impacted sectors such as retail and hospitality.
In addition to the measures introduced by the Chancellor the Welsh Government have set out some additional efforts to support businesses during this time. These include rates relief packages for small businesses and grants for those in impacted sectors such as retail and hospitality.
nibusinessinfo.co.uk is a free service offered by Invest Northern Ireland issued the following advice for businesses within NI.
The National Credentialing Register has published a list of statements from Hospital Trusts on policies restricting ‘external’ representatives visiting their sites. This includes the contacts at the trusts that enquiries need to be sent to.
The UK Government has developed a process for prioritising, coordinating and delivering COVID-19 related clinical trials. This support includes expedited identification of sites to ensure appropriate geographical distribution of Urgent Public Health Research to maximise recruitment and minimise over-commitment of resource.
The review process has four steps:
The MHRA has issued a series of guidance documents which cover managing clinical trials, changes to GxP inspections and medical devices clinical investigations during the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance is updated regularly. The MHRA have also introduced a range of flexible approaches to regulation in order to support the medicines supply chain and wider healthcare response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. The MHRA has updated guidance for Yellow Card adverse event reporting.
The HRA has published guidance for sponsors, sites and researchers about the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance covers the setup of new studies, amendments to existing studies and changes being made by sponsors at this time. This guidance is updated regularly
.Until further notice, the NIHR Clinical Research Network is pausing the set-up of any new or ongoing studies at NHS and social care site that are not nationally sponsored COVID-19 studies.
Please do keep the ABPI informed of any concerns that you may have around research and development by contacting Jennifer Harris (JHarris@abpi.org.uk).
The UK Government has asked pharmaceutical companies where possible to retain any remaining additional stockpiles of medicines that were built in preparation for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The Department of Health and Social Care have stood up the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) to monitor the supply situation and co-ordinate actions to address any incidents of supply disruption where normal procedures are unable to provide a resolution. MAH’s have received guidance directly from the DHSC. Contact details for the NSDR are: