The Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday evening set out the latest plans to try and get people back to work, as long as it can be done safely. People who cannot work from home, such as those in the construction and manufacturing industry are now being “actively encouraged” to go to work if possible.
Step 1 – Work
(all information provided in step 1 is applicable from Wednesday 13 May in England only)
Employees that are currently working from home should continue to do so for the foreseeable future wherever possible. If this is not possible you should travel to work if your workplace is open. The areas of the economy that are currently allowed to open are as follows: “production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. The government are still enforcing that businesses in hospitality and non-essential retail remain closed during this step of the government plan. Businesses that do decide to reopen must follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines.
The government has reiterated that if you have any symptoms of the virus you and your household should self-isolate.
Children of key workers should still attend school. The government is looking into clarifying guidance around paid childcare. Nannies and childminders can start to work if they meet the public health principles in Annex A of the Government Road Map document. Which can be found on page 49 of the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. This will hopefully make it easier for parents to return to work.
Whilst traveling to work or making other essential journeys it is important to avoid public transport if possible. Instead, you should cycle, walk, or drive to work or for essential journeys. If this is not possible and public transport is your only option, you must follow social distancing guidance. If your journey is not essential you must not make the journey.
The government is advising that people should now where face-masks in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible and where you will come into contact with people you would not normally meet. The government advises that you should wear a face mask when on public transport.
Step 2 will not be implemented until 1 June 2020 at the earliest. The exact date of when this will be imposed will be assessed on the current risk posed by the coronavirus.
A phased return to school – The government advises that schools should prepare to open for 1 June for reception, Year 1, and Year 6.
Opening non-essential retail – only if its safe do and so and retailers can follow the new COVID-19 secure guidelines.
Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors.
Re-opening additional public transport in urban areas. (subject to measures)
The government has said that this step will not be implemented until 4 July at the earliest.
The purpose of this step is to attempt to reopen at least some of the remaining businesses such as personal care, hospitality, public places, and leisure facilities.
These steps are the first ones to be taken to try and get the economy back on track. Ultimately it is still unknown whether these steps will be taken at the provisional dates set out by the government which is subject to change depending on the infection rate and capacity of the NHS. We will update you further as more information becomes available.
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