As widely reported on the 30th January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Governments globally have subsequently issued respective health alerts as a precaution, based on the latest advice from the WHO.
In relation to the current Covid-19 outbreak we have taken the following preliminary steps, which are part of our wider business continuity plan:
- Issuing notices and guidance to all its staff and contractors to observe the health and safety measures; as advised by the relevant governments and/or health organisations
- Restricting any non-critical business travel arrangements to any of the affected areas; and limiting the amount of travel for staff between offices and for non-business critical events, thereby reinforcing the segregation of staff in those offices
- Requiring staff to observe the period of self-quarantine (isolation) and work from home, if they have travelled to; or anyone close to them has been exposed to COVID-19 or has visited/transited through any of the specific areas listed on the relevant Government website
- Providing hand sanitisers in all its offices and installing air purifiers in all its public meeting rooms
- Re-reviewing home working arrangements and any operational impact; and addressing any individual staff health and safety concerns
- Reducing the use of public transport and office density by initiating rotas for working from home across departments
- Assessing the impact on any travel restrictions and communicating to our customers in a timely manner
- Re-assessing any key dependencies, including the contingency arrangements of any of our critical third-party providers
These arrangements are progressive, additional steps will be taken when the COVID-19 conditions deteriorate.
We will continue to assess the risks to our operations and follow the guidance issued by the relevant authorities, and address and issue any update on our continuity provisions accordingly.
John Ferguson, Chief Risk Officer