The last time I wrote to you on COVID-19 was 8 June 2020 and I had hoped then that the virus will be contained and in time we may gradually go back to normality. Regrettably this was wishful thinking and a second wave of infection appears to be amongst us and that is why I am writing to inform you of the UK Government measures to mitigate risk and our Bank’s steps in that endeavour.
• The Reproduction “R” Number
The number of infections in the UK in the last two weeks averaged around 6000 per day and the Reproduction number(R) that the scientists advised should be below 1, has today escalated to 1.4. The government consequently has raised the alert level to just under 4 meaning transmission is high and rising exponentially. This is one level below the highest alert level 5, indicating material risk of healthcare services becoming overwhelmed.
• Government Mitigation Measures
The UK Government announced that the system of safe travel Corridors will continue to be operational and countries with increasing COVID-19 cases that are within the corridor will be dropped out meaning travellers from those countries will be forced to self-isolate when arriving to the UK (for corridors updates please go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors ).
The Government also announced that in the current wave, the lockdown will not be total across the whole country as was the case in the first wave, instead partial lockdown will for now be confined to counties with alert level above 3. Travel to and from lockdown regions will be restricted, (for updates on lockdown regions please go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19 )
All restaurants, bars and nightclubs across the UK must cease service at 10pm every day and home or social visits must be confined to maximum of 6 from 2 different households.
Track and Trace measures have been put in place to contain spread of virus and if a person is contacted by the NHS then self-isolation must be attained pending test results. Breaches of self-isolation should it be required will be penalised at £1,000. and repeated breaches at £10,000. Face mask requirements in shops and offices have become mandatory to staff and visitors.
• Our Bank’s Mitigation Steps
We are fortunate that our staff remained in good health without any reported COVID-19 case to this date. We continue to follow preventative regular sanitisation of the offices and dispensing masks, shields and hand gels to our staff and visitors and we do not waver from following the updated guidelines set by the NHS and the government. Furthermore we will shortly request all our staff to download on their mobile phones the NHS App which scans and tracks virus affected areas they visited thus becoming an early warning system.
Our uninterrupted service that was and continues to be provided punctually and efficiently by our dedicated team is a source of much pride and I assure you that we will be at your disposal to attend to your banking requirements.
I wish you and your loved ones good health and safety.