Coronavirus update from Hinkley Point C – 15 March
Following the Government’s publication of its roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions, I want to keep you up to date with Hinkley Point C’s plans to keep the community and workforce safe.
In January, I told you that we were increasing testing as workers returned after the holiday period. Since then we have expanded our mass testing programme in order to stamp out infection at the earliest opportunity. This has helped us uncover and isolate asymptomatic cases which would otherwise not have been recorded. The programme’s effectiveness is highlighted by latest figures which show that of the almost 1,500 tests carried out last week, we found just one asymptomatic infection.
Meanwhile, all the existing health measures at Hinkley Point C around social distancing, self-isolation, personal behaviour and hygiene remain in place. Falling infection rates show the site is following the steadily improving national and local situation. It is good news that many of our workers and many people in the community are already benefitting from vaccination. The majority of our workforce will have had a first vaccination by the end of April. As national lockdown measures ease, this will offer vital protection to those that need it most.
Despite the good news, I want to assure you that we will not be complacent or simply wait for the virus to go away. The measures we are taking reflect our determination to keep a constant downward pressure on Covid-19. We will follow Government guidance in planning an end to the lockdown, using a measured step by step process when conditions allow. Like you, we are looking forward to better times and hoping for a return to more normal life. However, as the deputy chief medical officer so memorably put it, no-one should relax until the final whistle is blown, even if the game seems to be going in the right direction.
We continue to work closely with Public Health England and our industry regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation who recently undertook a site inspection. We are grateful for their constructive and open attitude and pleased that they endorse our approach to tackling infection and stopping transmission.
I will continue to provide you with the latest information and as always, the team and I are here to answer any questions you may have. We are always interested to hear your views on how we can continue to improve.
Construction Delivery Director, Hinkley Point C