Industry prepares as coronavirus spreads

As the coronavirus spread continues, the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) has produced a summary of guidance for its members from the World Health Organisation, workplace expert ACAS and the NHS.

The document also provides links to a range of official websites which are frequently updated as the situation changes. The AVA has advised members to check these regularly.

What is coronavirus or COVID-19

Coronaviruses are common across the world and COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.

The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2-14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone confirmed with coronavirus, they have not been infected.

Symptoms that may develop in 14 days after exposure include:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever

Generally, this infection can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

The spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within two metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are most likely to be the main means of transmission.

Current understanding is that the virus does not live on surfaces for longer than 72 hours.

NHS advice can be found here:

Business Impact

The outbreak is already causing some businesses, who trade directly with affected areas, issues relating to their supply chains for both importing and exporting goods and components.

UK Government advice can be found here:

Businesses need to continue to monitor the impact of the virus on their employees, facilities and supply chains and be prepared to act quickly should there be a major outbreak of the virus in the UK.