Staff will have to be “fully vaccinated”, have a negative PCR test, and complete daily lateral flow tests.
New guidance published by NHS England allows NHS staff to work even if they have a household contact with COVID-19.
Published last night, a letter from NHS England chiefs to NHS organisations allows staff to work if they are “fully vaccinated”, have had a negative PCR test, and complete daily lateral flow tests.
Current rules mean “fully vaccinated” is two doses of the vaccine, however, this could change to three doses in the near future.
Previous policies instructed staff “living directly (same household) with a positive covid-19 case” to stay at home and now come to work.
For many organisations the new rules will help bolster staffing numbers over the Christmas period.
The new guidelines apply to all NHS staff in England including substantive clinical and non-clinical roles, bank staff, contractors and suppliers; students working in all facilities, settings and organisations delivering NHS care and volunteers working in settings with patients.
Individual Trusts will likely be cautious about implementing the new guidance given the ever-increasing numbers of Omicron and the new rules could increase asymptomatic transmission in healthcare settings.
The document does not differentiate between COVID-19 varients.
The news comes only days after MPs gave the green light to mandator vaccinations for NHS staff in England.
The letter also reiterates previous guidance that staff with symptoms, regardless of vaccine status, should continue to stay away from work.