Coronavirus Update: 11 May 2020 - Covid-secure Workplaces

Last night, the Prime Minister announced a need to ensure workplaces are 'Covids-secure' and that the government has been “working to establish new guidance for employers to make workplaces Covid-secure”.

Boris Johnson did not go into further detail to explain what a Covid-secure workplace would look like, stating that he will be providing more information in Parliament on Monday 11 May regarding the new lock down easing measures.

In the Government's "OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy" guidance, the government has confirmed many measures require the development of new safety guidelines that set out how each type of physical space can be adapted to operate safely. The Government has been consulting relevant sectors, industry bodies, local authorities, trades unions, the Health and Safety Executive and Public Health England on their development and will release them this week.

They will also include measures that were unlikely to be effective when the virus was so widespread that full stay-at-home measures were required, but that may now have some effect as the public increase the number of social contacts - including, for example, advising the use of face coverings in enclosed public areas such as on public transport and introducing stricter restrictions on international travellers.

Many businesses across the UK have already been highly innovative in developing new, durable ways of doing business, such as moving online or adapting to a delivery model. Many of these changes, like increased home working, have significant benefits, for example, reducing the carbon footprint associated with commuting. The Government will need to continue to ask all employers and operators of communal spaces to be innovative in developing novel approaches; UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will welcome grant applications for proposals to develop new technologies and approaches that help the UK mitigate the impact of this virus

The guidelines will be based on sound evidence - from what has worked elsewhere in the world, and the best available scientific theory. The most important guidelines people can follow to stay safer outside their homes are attached at Annex A of the guidance, which can be found here. For example: