NEWS30 November 2021

MRS updates Covid-19 guidance

Covid-19 News Public Sector UK

UK – The Market Research Society (MRS) has adjusted its guidance on Covid-19 and face-to-face research collection after England reintroduced face masks in shops and public transport and placed restrictions on international travel.

Masks on Tube in Covid-19

The MRS said that it would advise bringing in screener questions to ensure research participants had not been to a red list country in the past 10 days, including Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The updated guidance, Undertaking safe face-to-face data collection, also asks researchers to abide by government regulations when conducting face-to-face research, including facial coverings and gloves when either required or deemed necessary, as well as discussing with participants the equipment and approach to Covid-19 the researchers are undertaking.

The change follows the government’s reimposition of some Covid-19 precautionary measures to combat the Omicron variant first discovered in South Africa last week, which scientists fear could be more resistant to vaccines.

The new rules introduced in England include mandatory mask wearing in shops and on public transport, PCR tests when returning to the UK from overseas and a travel ban and mandatory quarantine for arrivals from red list nations.

The MRS guidance also suggests checking differences between different nations and regions within the UK and to adhere to any specific safe-working guidance when working on any in-transit environment. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have separate Covid-19 restrictions to England.