COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Current evidence suggests that the COVID-19 virus is
significantly more infectious than the flu that circulates every winter.
The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei
province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the coronavirus pandemic.
Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath / breathing difficulties.
Other symptoms may include fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhoea, sore throat, loss of smell,
and abdominal pain. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is typically around five
days but may range from two to fourteen days. While the majority of cases result in mild
symptoms, some progress to viral pneumonia and multi-organ failure.
Spread of the Disease
The virus is primarily spread between people during close contact, e.g. via small droplets
produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking. The droplets usually fall to the ground or onto
surfaces rather than remain in the air over long distances. People may also become
infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
The virus can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours. It is most contagious during the first
three days after the onset of symptoms, although spread may be possible before
symptoms appear and in later stages of the disease.
Requirements for Contractors to Prevent Spread of COVID-19
While the COVID-19 threat is present Virtek have adopted various measures to protect
their staff, customers and contractors working in or visiting their stores. These measures
are based around Government, HSA and WHO advice and centre around the combined
• Good personal hygiene.
• Management of social distancing.
Virtek may undertake precautionary checks, e.g. temperature checks, of personnel
to identify signs of COVID-19 symptoms. Contractors and their personnel must agree to
submitting themselves for checking as appropriate.
The following must be provided by all contractors in advance of entering Virtek premises:
1. Details of measures put in place to ensure that contractor personnel, including any
subcontractor personnel, are not showing symptoms of the virus or are in contact with and
person suspected to have COVID-19.
2. Updated Safety Statements / RAMS to reflect the measures to be deployed to ensure
working conditions and practices can be maintained to prevent the risk of spread of
COVID-19, including hygiene and social distancing.
3. Details of other measures that will be deployed to remind personnel and monitor
working practices to ensure safe working is carried out, e.g. toolbox talks, daily briefings,
signage, appointment of COVID-19 Compliance Officers, checking temperatures etc.
The following must be adhered to by all contractor personnel working for Virtek
1. Any personnel exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 must not enter any customer
premises. Persons displaying symptoms must self-isolate and not attend work
for 14 days. Similarly, any person living with someone who is self-isolating or waiting a
COVID-19 test must not enter Virtrk premises.
2. All personnel must complete a health check declaration prior to commencing work
3. All personnel must adhere to any routes, one-way systems etc. and any other
measures deployed by clients to protect the staff and customers etc.
4. Delivery drivers where possible will remain in their vehicle and off-loading / loading
only to take place in an agreed area.
5. Hygiene practices to be adopted include:
a. Hand Washing – hand must regularly be washed using soap and water, with washing
lasting at lease 20 seconds. As a minimum, hands must be washed after coughing or
sneezing, after going to the toilet, before eating / preparing food etc.
b. Hand Sanitising – as a supplement to regular hand washing hands can be sanitised
using a using a 60% alcohol gel hand sanitiser Hand sanitising is not a substitute for
regular hand washing with soap and water.
c. Hands should be washed / sanitised before entering / leaving client and Virtek
d. Avoid touching your face.
e. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
f. Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
g. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
6. Social distancing practices to be adopted include:
a. Where practicable, avoid travelling to Virtek premises using public
b. Where possible walk, cycle or travel alone in your vehicle. If this cannot be achieved,
e.g. a person cannot drive, sit as far apart as the vehicle allows.
c. Regularly clean and disinfect the regular ‘touch points’, e.g. door handles, steering
wheel, controls, mirrors etc.
d. If using public transport:
i. Where possible, travel at quiet times rather than peak times.
ii. Maintain at least 2m distancing from other persons.
iii. If possible, sit rather than standing to avoid touching support bars / straps etc.
iv. Carry hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol) and use it regularly throughout your
e. When within Virtek premises, workers must maintain 2m separation
for any person insofar as possible while working, using toilets, canteens etc.