The forum includes representatives from all critical States services and infrastructure, utilities, emergency services, supply chain, transport, retail and wholesale sectors.
Such forums are well-established locally and in the UK for planning for major incidents and ensuring business continuity.
The forum stressed the importance of reviewing business continuity plans. The meeting looked at various scenarios for services and businesses to be clear on how they would operate with reduced numbers of staff, with a request to identify and work through specific areas of vulnerability.
It also asked attendees to consider the possibility of an Omicron wave coinciding with other pressures, such as an unexpected weather event.
And it was noted that a significant rise in Covid cases may not be experienced by all sectors at the same time, and some may find they are more heavily impacted than others.
Attendees were also asked to consider how they would cope if they were to see half or more of their workforce infected with Covid in a short period of time, and what knock-on effects there would be for other areas if a particular service failed.
‘As we know there is still a lot of uncertainty around Omicron as it is still a new variant which makes planning even more of a challenge,’ said Jason Moriarty, strategic lead for operational delivery at the States.
‘We still need to plan for some of the more serious scenarios that may occur, even though we very much hope that this does not materialise.
‘I appreciate that different sectors and businesses, depending on size and nature, will have very different considerations and will be potentially impacted in different ways, but if you haven’t revisited your continuity planning, I’d strongly encourage you to think about how you would operate with a proportion of your workforce being absent as a result of being unwell or isolating.’