In light of the fast-moving developments related to coronavirus, the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has put together a briefing note to provide members with accurate information about the virus, as well as highlight key issues for members to consider.

The outbreak of coronavirus, or Covid-19, in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province, has had a major impact across the globe.

17 years after the first outbreak of a SARS virus, China plays a far more prominent role in global trade and international supply chains.

As a result, quarantined towns, closed factories, reduced air routes and travel warnings have affected global supply chains in a way which the previous outbreak never did.

The industrial gases industry is extremely globalised, with suppliers and customers spread across different continents.

This means that many employees may have travelled to high-risk areas. Moreover, medical gases could be more in demand, as well as heightened concerns over the disinfecting of cylinders.

The BCGA first published guidance about coronavirus on 3rd March, which the trade association today said has been updated following discussions with several government departments to include:

  • Additional suggestions for best practice working, based on government advice
  • Updates from the UK Government, including changes to statutory sick pay
  • Links to business resources which could be of use, such as helplines for HMRC and Companies House, as well as a free crisis communications webinar which gives advice to businesses on coping with covid-19 from a PR perspective

Moreover, the BCGA has had discussions with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Health, and the Department for Transport.

The trade association said it has had productive discussions with them about supply chain resilience, as well as going through scenario-planning to ensure that there will be business as usual for members.

The BCGA will continue having an open-dialogue with these government departments and if any members are approached directly by government, the BCGA would be happy to be involved in these discussions and elaborate further on our talks with officials if desired.

Download the briefing note here.