Novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus (known as COVID-19) first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China, in December 2019. Since that time there have been an increasing number of cases confirmed throughout the word.The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was officially identified in Cyprus on the 10 March 2020.
Typical symptoms include fever and a cough which may progress to pneumonia causing breathing difficulties. The virus is thought to generally pose a heightened risk to those with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and lung disease.
On the 30 January 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of novel coronavirus as a “public emergency of international concern”. On the 12 March 2020 the WHO declared Covid-19 as a pandemic.
The situation is rapidly evolving and should be carefully monitored.
Businesses should prepare for the challenges of a potential impact to the workplace and disrupting continuity of work. The preparations should include among others matters:
- Preparing a contingency plan – To have a crisis contingency/continuity plan ready to be applied. The plan should deal with issues such as reducing travel, referencing the need for face to face contact and providing services with a skeleton staff.
- Review existing policies and procedures – To ensure that existing policies (sickness, absence, travel, homeworking, leave policies etc) are reviewed and adequate. Consideration should be made whether there is a requirement for employees or their representatives consultation or approval with is required for amendments to be made.
- Reducing exposure in the workplace – Employers should consider implementing measures to prevent and respond to a host of potential scenarios stemming from, or linked to, the outbreak. This will involve ensuring that current policies on risk reduction in the workplace are adequate. This will also entail providing updated information to employees of measures required to be taken to reduce exposure at the workplace and to provide for the eventuality that an employee who was recently at the workplace is diagnosed with the virus.
Where can employers and employees access further advice?
Cyprus Government – https://www.pio.gov.cy/coronavirus/en/index.html
How can we help?
This is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation and we are continuing to closely monitor the information and recommendations provided by the WHO and the Government of Cyprus. As the situation evolves we will continue to provide up to date and practical advice to help our clients prepare and respond to the the COVID-19 pandemic.
Theodorou Law is a Cyprus law firm with Cyprus lawyers and other legal experts on legal matters involving Cyprus law, EU law and international law. The above should be used as a source of general information only. It is not intended to give a definitive statement of the law.
If you have a query or wish to receive further information, please contact us using [email protected]