With the move to Step 4 of the Roadmap to go ahead on Monday 19 July 2021, the Working safely during Coronavirus guidance has been updated for businesses.
Who is the guidance for?
As before this is split into various areas, these are:
- Construction and other outdoor work
- Events and attractions
- Hotels and guest accommodation
- Offices, factories and labs
- Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services
- Shops, branches and close contact services
Separate guidance exists for schools, further education and childcare providers, wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations and lastly, vehicles.
What is the guidance for?
The guidance has been issued to provide advice on sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk and support to staff and customers.
What are the main changes?
- Legal restrictions can be lifted, and all businesses can open.
- Social distancing will no longer apply.
- The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the government has stated it expects the return to be a gradual over the summer and that you should discuss the timing and phasing of a return with your workers.
- Guidance on facemasks is no longer a legal restriction, but guidance is provided within the documents around where it is advised that they are worn, primarily in indoor areas or enclosed or crowded spaces where individuals come into contact with people they don’t normally meet.
What should we do?
You are still required to follow statutory health and safety requirements, therefore you should revisit your risk assessment and continue to take reasonable steps to manage risks in your workplace or setting, as set out in the guidance. Ensure you consult, discuss and communicate any changes with your staff.
There are 6 priority actions to take to protect staff and customers, which are:
- Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes risk from Covid-19
- Provide adequate ventilation
- Clean more often
- Turn away people with Covid-19 symptoms
- Enable people to check in at your venue
- Communicate and train
The guidance states that it will keep the guidance under review and will remove advice once it is safe to do.