Talking to clients and customers about COVID-19 may be challenging. The following scripts will assist you to have a conversation about the measures you are putting in place to protect against exposure to the virus and to approach this sensitive topic in an appropriate way.
- You have privacy obligations when you handle personal information. Find more information on the Office of the Information Commissioner website.
- Things can change rapidly. If your worker arrives at a home and has a reasonable belief that householders may be unwell or are self-isolating, you should have a system in place so they know what to do in these circumstances, including if they should not enter the home. You may need to contact the householder again before work can commence.
- You also need to decide what you will do if a householder will not answer these questions. You and your workers should not enter a home if you cannot assure yourself that it is safe to do so.
Email script example
Hello [insert name]
[Insert name] is scheduled to attend your property to [insert task] on [insert date].
During the COVID-19 pandemic we are taking additional steps to make sure everyone can stay healthy and safe when we visit your home.
It is very important that you inform us in advance if anyone in your household is unwell, or self-isolating because they are at risk of becoming unwell, with COVID-19.
Unfortunately, due to strict public health requirements we will be unable to attend if anyone in your household is unwell or in self-isolation. We will of course treat this information in strict confidence and will be happy to reschedule your appointment for another time.
What [insert business name] is doing
You might also like to know about the measures [insert business name] has taken to manage the risks of exposure to COVID-19 when we visit clients’ homes.
These include [insert measures that have been implemented. This may include: increased hygiene measures, physical distancing, not performing certain tasks, conducting meetings outside etc].
What you can do
It is important to us to be able to continue to provide our regular service to you and your family at this time.
Please help us to manage the risks to the health and safety of our staff by cooperating with the measures we have outlined above. Do the same things for us that you are doing to keep your own family and friends healthy and well.
This includes frequent handwashing, covering your nose and mouth when you need to cough or sneeze with the crook of your arm or clean tissue and observing rules for physical distancing. More information can be found on the Department of Health website:
Phone call script example
Worker: I am calling as [insert staff name] is scheduled to attend your property to [insert task] on [insert date].
So that we can keep our workers healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic I need to ask a couple of questions about your household before we visit. Is that ok?
[If yes] Great, please know that anything that you tell me will only be used by us to determine if we can attend your home. Your information will not be shared or used for any other purpose.
Ok, first has anyone in your household been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Second, is anyone in your household unwell and have symptoms related to COVID-19? This includes fever, coughing, sore throat or sneezing?
And, last is anyone in your household self-isolating, for example, because they have travelled recently?
Client response scenario 1: Yes, someone has the COVID-19 virus/is in isolation/is showing COVID-19 virus symptoms.
Worker: Thanks for providing that information. I am sorry to hear that your household has been affected. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to attend your home while you have someone [confirmed as having the COVID-19 virus/currently in self-isolation/showing symptoms of the COVID-19 virus]. Only people who live in your household are permitted to be there during any isolation period. This is a strict requirement put in place by health authorities.
We will be in touch in two weeks to re-schedule.
Client response scenario 2: No, everyone is well.
Worker: Thanks for confirming that, [insert staff name] will be at your property on [insert date].
To ensure everyone’s health and safety we have implemented some additional measures to manage any risks to your health and the health of our staff, including [insert measures that have been implemented].
We are grateful for your cooperation with these measures and ask that you do same things for us that you are doing to keep your own family and friends healthy and well. This includes frequent handwashing, covering your nose and mouth when you need to cough or sneeze and observing rules for social distancing.
Thanks again, we look forward to seeing you soon.