There have been a number of queries from social care workers regarding travel, since the new restrictions were announced. The communication below has been put together to provide some clarity on the issue:
Travel at work
For travel in the course of social care work for example if two members of staff need to travel together to visit a client, the relevant workplace guidance applies. Please see links below to the Health Protection Scotland guidance documents for Domiciliary Care, Social, Community and Residential Care Settings and for Care Home Settings.
COVID-19: Guidance for Domiciliary Care : Publication date: 20 August 2020 is for those working in domiciliary care settings to give advice to their staff and users of their services about COVID-19. This includes registered providers, social care staff, local authorities and care staff who support and deliver care to people in their own homes (including supported living settings). It contains a section on : Personal or work travel and physical distancing : https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/3046/documents/1_COVID-19-guidance-domiciliary-care.pdf
COVID-19: Information and Guidance for Social, Community and Residential Care Settings. (excluding Care Home settings) Publication date: 21 August 2020, contains a section on : Personal or work travel and physical distancing : https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/3045/documents/1_covid-19-guidance-social-community-residential-care.pdf
COVID-19: Information and Guidance for Care Home Settings: Publication date: 17 September 2020, contains a section on: Personal or work travel and physical (social) distancing:
All pieces of guidance state : “If you can adhere to physical distancing whilst travelling, then do so. Where this is not possible and you are travelling with non-household members, limit the number of passengers and space out as much as possible. In enclosed spaces, where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people who are not members of your household, you should wear a face covering”.
Travel outside work
For sharing transport outwith work duties, such as giving a colleague a lift home from work, you should only do so if absolutely necessary as per the national travel guidance (see below).
National travel guidance Car/vehicle sharing and giving lifts
You should only travel with members of your own, or extended, household.
We recognise that there may be occasions when there is no alternative but to travel with people from out with your household. This should be limited as much as possible.
On such occasions, you should:
- keep to small groups of people, up to 6 at any one time (assume this is on public transport)
- keep your distance and take care entering and exiting the vehicle
- sit as far apart as possible in the vehicle, avoiding face-to-face
- maintain good ventilation by keeping the car windows open
- wear a face-covering, unless you are exempt
- clean your hands before and after your journey
- if the vehicle is your responsibility, clean the door handles and other areas that people touch.
- If you regularly share transport whether it is a car or minibus or other private vehicle, try and share with the same people each time.