OH urged to step up support during Covid ‘plan B’ measures

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Occupational health professionals urged to be proactive in helping employers transition to government ‘plan B’ Covid-19 mitigation measures, particularly in terms of supporting employee mental health and providing authoritative advice and reinsurance.
The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) has warned that there could be mental health consequences of reimposing certain restrictions, particularly returning to work from home for wider and wider use of face masks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday confirmed a series of new measures for England designed to combat the spread of the new Omicron variant of the virus. These include people working from home if they can from next Monday (December 13), an extension of the legal requirement to wear a face mask in most indoor public places, including theaters and cinemas, starting today (Friday, December 10), and making the NHS Covid Pass mandatory to enter nightclubs and other places where large crowds congregate from next week. SOM argued that OH practitioners should draw on a range of resources, including around mental health support and Work at home, and promote the “Swiss cheese” model for protection against transmission. This highlights that no mitigation is perfect, but multiple layers are combined, e.g. social distancing, masks, hand washing, testing and tracing, ventilation and vaccination, all