As our workforce return from their Christmas breaks and following recent Government announcements, I’d like to take a moment to update you with the latest on Hinkley Point C’s response to Coronavirus.
Like many of you, I have been encouraged by news of successful vaccines. However, I want to reassure you that we will not drop our guard in the coming months as we wait for a national vaccination programme. Our extensive measures to prevent infection are proving to be effective and they will continue to be in place for as long as the risk exists. Our approach has been commended by Public Health England and our independent regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
I know that the movement of workers to and from our region has been an area of concern for some in the community. That is why we have taken expert advice on the best way to prepare for workers returning after the Christmas break. As a result, we are completing an extensive testing programme - doubling our capacity for random and targeted testing across the entire workforce. This will identify people carrying the virus, even if they don’t show any symptoms. If they test positive, they will be asked to self-isolate in line with Government guidance.
In addition, anyone returning from overseas countries not covered within existing air corridor arrangements will quarantine and be tested before returning to work. All new starters will continue to be tested at our testing centre at Junction 23. When it is our turn to join the national vaccination programme, I hope we can reduce demand on the local NHS by offering our medical facilities to be part of the programme. We also know that personal responsibility and reinforcing the right behaviours is paramount. We are continuing to increase our team of “Covid Champions” who are reinforcing safe behaviours whilst communicating to all employees on the importance of Covid safety as they return to work.
I will continue to keep you updated with the latest information as things develop. Please contact me or my team if you have any further questions or concerns.
Construction Delivery Director, Hinkley Point C