Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Permanent Secretary and Chief of Defence Staff update on Coronavirus

After last night’s announcement from the Prime Minister (04 January 2021), everyone across the UK is now in a new national lockdown due to COVID-19. We want to be absolutely clear: whether you are military or civilian, you must work from home unless you have a critical requirement to attend your workplace.

For more information on the specific measures in your region, visit the following sites:

Regardless of your region you must switch to remote working immediately if you can. The only exceptions to this rule are:

  • You are engaged in activities that are key to sustaining our essential operational output and it is essential to use systems, equipment, or facilities that cannot be made available when working remotely
  • You do not have a suitable remote environment in which to work

Please consider your need to attend the workplace carefully, as it risks not only your own health, but those of your colleagues, family, and friends. If working remotely is not possible for you, it is vital that you stick to the COVID-secure measures introduced across Defence when attending your workplace.

After our experiences last year, and during the first national lockdown, we have learned a lot about our ways of working, our balance between work and homelife, as well as what we need to support our wellbeing. This lockdown has the potential to feel more restrictive, as it is taking place in winter, but we are better prepared as individuals and as an organisation to apply our learning from the first lockdown.

We know how unsettling these changes to how we work can be for people, and we will lead by example in ensuring how we operate as a senior leadership team is both COVID-secure and inclusive. Defence has a range of resources to support you through the next couple of months, from technical guidance to bolstering your mental resilience, and we encourage you to make use of it.

Visit the COVID-19 Portal on defnet or visit the Coronavirus (Official) group on Defence Connect for more information.

As our Chief Operating Officer, Mike Baker, mentioned in his message to staff on 31 December, your ability to cope throughout this uncertain and turbulent time and continue your work has been remarkable. We appreciate every effort you have made to adapt and deliver for Defence. Keep in regular contact with your leadership and your team, and support each other through this next period.

Please do not hesitate to let us or your team leader know if you have any concerns.

Stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives. We very much hope, and expect, that this will be the last push before the roll out of effective vaccines brings the pandemic to an end.

Sir Stephen Lovegrove
Permanent Secretary

General Sir Nick Carter
Chief of Defence Staff