We’ll be adding more information and guidance to this hub whenever we can, so please check back regularly.
Last updated 23 September 2020
The introduction of tighter restrictions across the four nations comes in response to the significant rise in COVID-19 infections. The virus is highly contagious, leading to fatalities in some cases. These restrictions have important implications for psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors seeking to work in-person. Please keep checking this page as well as the links provided.
In his speech on 22 September 2020, the Prime Minister announced a legal obligation to create a COVID-secure professional environment. While the government guidance does not specifically refer to therapists, we nonetheless interpret the legal obligation as applying to service providers as well as to employers. Any practitioner (therapist, supervisor, trainer/educator) who isn’t able to work in a fully COVID secure environment should work remotely or face potential legal penalties. If you are unclear as to whether your premises meet government requirements, please visit this link.
The latest UK government advice is to work from home wherever possible.
We strongly advise all practitioners to check with your insurance provider.
Employers and employees
If you are an employee of a service, please check your employer’s policies. If you are concerned about working safely during the pandemic, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has produced a resource for employers and employees outlining your rights and responsibilities.
If believe that you are under pressure to return to in-person work unsafely, please contact our Policy and Advocacy Team via email@example.com.
Latest social distancing requirements
In terms of social distancing, all nations are advised to stay two metres apart from those outside their households, but in England you can stay ‘1m plus’ apart. The plus part means doing something else to limit exposure such as wearing face coverings.
In England you must wear a face covering in premises providing professional services.
In Northern Ireland, face coverings are similarly mandatory in ‘any other indoor place where goods or services are available to buy or rent.’
In Scotland, as in England, the instruction is that everyone who can work from home should continue to do so. Where work cannot be done at home, employers should take clear steps to help protect workers and create safe places to work. In indoor places and where physical distancing is difficult and where there is a risk of contact within 2m with people who are not members of your household, you are expected to wear a face covering. This includes when visiting or attending an appointment at any healthcare setting, which we would deem to include therapy.
In Wales, as in parts of England, a number of local authority areas are in lockdown, so please check local restrictions in those areas. You are expected to work from home wherever possible. Face coverings are mandatory in indoor public spaces which includes reception areas in offices.
Other sources of information
We are advising people who are looking for information about the virus to visit the NHS website, where you will find the most up-to-date information, including what to do if you are worried you might have symptoms, advice for travellers and common questions.
You can find more information and resources here: