Initial Hygiene Coronavirus Alert

Important Coronavirus information update

At the end of December 2019, the World Health Organization was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. This virus was identified as a novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 (previously referred to as 2019-nCoV), this organism belongs to a family of viruses, which includes the common cold, as well as SARS and MERS viruses. 

By the end of January, it was reported that more than 7,000 people had been infected by the virus. WHO reports that China is the most heavily affected country. Outside of China, a smaller number of cases have also been reported in; Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, USA, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, UK and UAE.  The severity of COVID-19 infection is under scrutiny via the CDC and WHO and it was declared a public health emergency on 30 January.

South Africa confirmed its first positive case of COVID-19 on the 5th of March 2020, originating from a travel group returning from a ski-trip in Italy. Those who had been in contact with the first diagnosed patients have been quarantined, and regular updates are being covered by News24.

What are we doing for our customers?

As a responsible organisation that is committed to protecting people, we will be closely monitoring the situation and providing informative updates to our customers via our websites and direct communications.  

As a hygiene and pest control provider we are classified as an essential services provider during the 21 day lock down period and continue to support our customers who are providing essential services and operating during this time.

We want you to be assured that our colleagues will not pose added risk to our customers and their employees. We are undertaking additional training of our colleagues to ensure that we can continue to deliver high levels of service, safely. 

We will also be providing information on an ongoing basis regarding what you can do to reduce the potential risks of virus transmission. Scientists around the world are currently looking into the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19, but until we know more, there are hygiene behaviours that we can and should adopt that are proven to be effective against the spread of viruses.

If you have questions about the actions that we are taking, or how we can help your organisation, contact our team, or give us a call on: 0800 77 77 89.

Have questions? Contact our team:

Good hand hygiene habits need to be supported by good solutions

No current special precautions have officially been advised, however, practising regular good hand hygiene using soap and water, and incorporating the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitiser is beneficial in minimising the risk of spreading the disease. As an added precaution for your office, you may want to consider supplying various hand sanitising options for staff.

Science of Soap

Celebrating 10 years of hand washing

Our comprehensive range of hand hygiene dispensers are created with integral antibacterial technology and are perfect for providing that extra level of protection in busy areas. Wall mounted units provide easy access and promotes good hand washing practices in your business.

View our hand hygiene range

Signature bio-enzyme soaps

Unlike traditional soaps, our Signature bio-enzyme foam or liquid soap creates a long- lasting, protective barrier on the hands. This barrier lasts up to 5 hours, offering the user ongoing protection from bacteria and viruses and minimising the risks of cross contamination. Our signature soap is also completely biodegradable and contains no harsh chemicals. Read our blog on the 5 reasons we love bio-enzyme soap >>>

What does the outbreak of Coronavirus mean for you?

Signs indicate that this potentially fatal virus is spreading, with the World Health Organization declaring the Coronavirus a global public health emergency. Scientists around the world are currently looking into the transmissibility and severity of COVID-19, but until we know more, there are hygiene behaviours that we can and should adopt that are proven to be effective against the spread of viruses. 

Please read our article: What does the Coronavirus outbreak mean for you? to find out more about:

  • How is COVID-19 transmitted and how contagious it is
  • Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Advised special precautions
  • Guidance on effective hand washing methods

At the end of the day, remember that washing your hands is key to maintaining good hygiene. Here are some resources you may find helpful:

Handwashing posters-1

Hand Washing Posters

Ensure correct hand washing practices are followed by downloading and placing these posters in washroom and kitchen areas.

Get your posters

Handwashing posters (1)

Hand Hygiene Products

Stock up on essential hand hygiene products for your organisation. View our range and make sure you have the basics covered. 

View product range

Handwashing posters (2)

Hand Hygiene Posters

Download these posters and place them around the office to remind staff how to keep their working area hygienic. 

Download posters

Will there be any changes to my service levels?

The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is of paramount importance to us, and we will not offer our services unless we can be sure it is safe to do so. We are aiming to keep disruption to a minimum; however the following restrictions have been put in place for safety purposes:
  1. Rentokil Initial businesses will not conduct any type of service in medical treatment rooms or quarantine areas which are used for the care of patients who have experienced COVID-19 unless they are specifically trained to do so.

  2. Our businesses which provide specialist disinfection services by colleagues trained in biohazards and infection control will be permitted to conduct services in the following areas, provided there are no potentially affected people in the area and all other risks have been robustly assessed:
    1. Medical treatment rooms or quarantine areas which are used for the care of patients who have experienced COVID-19 infections.
    2. Any premises or vehicle which has been quarantined due to the presence of a suspected COVID-19 patient(s).

What are we doing for our employees?

In order to ensure we provide a sensible and proportionate response, we have established a dedicated central team to monitor the global situation and maintain a global response plan. The initial phase of this plan consists of providing instructions and guidelines for country leadership teams, and ensuring all colleagues around the world receive thorough awareness briefings. All information is being assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure that our people are always protected and are also able to inform our customers on new developments as they happen.

In every country, our management teams, health and safety, and HR managers are continuously monitoring local government guidance and recommendations from WHO and CDC. 

In a country with active outbreaks we are carrying out risk assessments and implementing risk control measures to ensure colleague exposure to infection risks is reduced, helping to protect them and also customers with whom they come into contact. These controls may include: 

  • Increased supply and use of PPE, particularly N95 and FFP3 face masks. 
  • The potential introduction of travel bans.
  • Possible restrictions or postponement of visitors from affected areas. 
  • Quarantining colleagues who present symptoms after travel into infected areas or exposure to infected persons.

In countries with zero or a small number of isolated cases, we will continue to carry out routine work activities, following standard safe working practices, to include:

  • Practicing regular, good hand hygiene using soap and water and applying an alcohol-based hand sanitiser solution - particular importance when travelling or working in heavily populated areas.
  • Use of all forms of fit-for-purpose, undamaged PPE, specified and provided for the work they are required to perform. 
  • Ensuring cuts and abrasions are kept clean, treated and covered with waterproof dressings.

Additional reading

How to motivate to get your office bathrooms deep cleaned

How to motivate to get your office bathroom deep cleaned

Good hand hygiene practices don’t exist in isolation. They need to be combined with excellent hygiene in our homes, and at our places of work. Find out how you can motivate to get your office bathrooms deep cleaned. Read the full blog here >>>

Is your fingerprint scanner making you sick?

Is your fingerprint scanner making you sick

A recent study conducted, measured bacterial flora on the fingerprint surface of the biometric fingerprint scanners. The study found that 46% (nearly half!) of the samples taken were culture positive. Read the full blog here >>>

Stop the journey of the germ

Journey of the germ video

Cross contamination is the process by which bacteria or other microorganisms travel from one place to another. If good hygiene is not practised in the workplace, bacteria and germs can spread across colleagues, resulting in illness and absenteeism. Watch the full video here >>>

More information to follow

Further information will be provided through regular updates to this page, so please check back or bookmark this page. Alternatively, you can keep up-to-date with country-specific guidance and the current recommendations from dedicated websites for: