COVID-19 COVID-19 businesses and employers

NHS Test and Trace and early outbreak management information for employers

You have a vital role in cutting the spread of the virus and reducing the risk of your people having to self-isolate. It's important you:

  • Let staff work from home where possible.
  • If they can’t, control workplace risks with the right measures:
    • Don’t let people with symptoms visit your premises.
    • Encourage frequent hand cleaning and good ‘respiratory hygiene’. 
    • Clean regularly.
    • Maintain social distancing and minimise contact and mixing.
  • Encourage workers to self-isolate when told to.

You can see sector-specific workplace guidance on

All this will limit the chances of your people having to self-isolate. But you should also review business continuity plans in case several of your staff must self-isolate at once.

COVID-19 early outbreak management information

The COVID-19 Early Outbreak Management Information has been created to make sure people who run businesses or organisations know how to recognise an incident of COVID-19 and how to contain and report it, should an outbreak occur.

Please contact us if your business has had two or more cases in a 14 day period by emailing you can also contact us if you've had just one case and would like advice about outbreak management.

Action Cards have been produced to help businesses and other organisations work effectively with their local public health teams ( Public Health England) when dealing with an outbreak. They have been produced in a collaborative effort, led by the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) and Public Health England. The GM PHE team can be contacted on tel: 0344 225 0562 (select option 3)

Download the action cards from PHE

Anyone who gets symptoms should get tested

If your staff get COVID symptoms, or if they’re told they are a “close contact” of someone who’s tested positive they should follow the guidance provided by the NHS. NHS Test and Trace will contact all those who test positive to identify these close contacts. Close contacts will then be told what they must do and how to get local support if they need it.

Order a test online or call 119. 

If you employ keyworkers, you can also book tests for them if they — or someone in their household — get symptoms. Register for this by e-mail at

NHS Test and Trace will provide evidence that someone’s been told to self-isolate.

See more on getting tested on

NHS Test and Trace and keeping customer records

It is now a legal requirement for venues from the following sectors to display an official NHS QR code for the new national NHS COVID-19 app, as part of the large scale NHS testing and contact tracing programme: 

  • hospitality 
  • leisure and tourism
  • close contact services
  • local authority venues

See the full list of the settings required to display the poster

Access resources to support your customers and create your business’s unique QR code poster 

Further guidance: 

  • Businesses should continue to use their own method of contact logging in addition to displaying the QR code poster (the NHS Covid-19 app is one of a range of measures needed to make the system more robust).
  • Large venues are encouraged to use multiple different QR codes for different spaces within the setting
  • QR codes can only be read by the NHS Covid-19 app and not by any other generic QR code scanners
  • Hospitality venues must refuse entry to anyone who has not either ‘checked in’ by scanning the QR code or entered their details onto the venue’s customer log*

The Government has released guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Statutory Sick Pay 

NHS Test and Trace will provide evidence that someone’s been told to self-isolate. 

Workers in self-isolation can get Statutory Sick Pay if they qualify. As an employer, you may be able to claim back employees’ Statutory Sick Pay. 

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