Staff face losing annual leave for post-trip quarantine

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  • New NHS Employers guidance says staff may need to use paid or unpaid leave to cover isolation period
  • Staff may also need to work extra shifts
  • Government changed rules last week so healthcare workers are no longer exempt

NHS staff and healthcare professionals returning from an overseas trip from high risk countries may have to take unpaid annual leave to cover the 14-day self-isolation period, according to new guidance.

The government has confirmed that health workers will lawfully be required to self-isolate if travelling to the UK from a high-risk country. They were previously exempt from this.

In an email sent from the Department of Health and Social Care to stakeholders, and seen by HSJ, said the decision to change the rules was made because “we cannot risk onwards chains of transmission that might infect the wider workforce”.

“This amendment to the regulations will ensure consistency with wider quarantine measures and continue to protect public health,” the email said.

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Date: 6 August 2020