The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
The Government has now set out its roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.
You can find a summary of the key points affecting Somerset communities and businesses below.
The changes in this step will apply from Wednesday 13 May in England.
For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible.
All workers who cannot work from home should return to work if it is open. Check with your employer first whether they are ready for you to return to work. If you have children at home and cannot return to work then employers should seek to find a mutually agreeable solution.
Sectors that are allowed to, should be open, for example this includes food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories.
The only exceptions to this are those workplaces such as hospitality and nonessential retail which during this first step the Government is requiring to remain closed.
COVID-19 Secure at Work guidelines
As soon as practicable, workplaces should follow the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible and the risk of infection is as low as possible. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. You may need to use more than one of these guides in your workplace as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.
You can find all the guidance for that types of work below:
1. Construction and other outdoor work – Guidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.
2. Factories, plants and warehouses – Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses.
3. Homes – Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people’s homes as well as their employers.
4. Labs and research facilities – Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments.
5. Offices and contact centres – Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments.
6. Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery – Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.
7. Shops and branches – Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
8. Vehicles – Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.
Anyone with symptoms
It remains the case that anyone who has symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work for 7 days from when the symptoms started. If you live with others and you are the first to have symptoms of Coronavirus, then all other household members who remain well must not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
Travelling to work
When travelling everybody (including critical workers) should avoid public transport wherever possible. If they can, people should instead choose to cycle, walk or drive.
People should aim to wear homemade cloth face-covering, (not surgical masks which should only be worn by healthcare professionals and those required to wear them) in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible, for example on public transport or in some shops to reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances.
Staying safe outside
The government have put together a set of Staying safe outside your home guidelines to ensure that time spent outside your home is as safe as possible including on your way to work, at work and going home.
The Government’s current aim is that the second step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June, subject to conditions being satisfied.
It is possible that dates will be delayed by the government if the up-to-date assessment of the risk posed by the virus are not met. Changes will be announced by central government at least 48 hours before coming into effect. There may be circumstances where different measures will be lifted at different times depending on the variance in rate of transmission across the UK.
The second step may include as many of the following measures as possible, consistent with the five tests. Organisations should prepare accordingly.
- Opening non-essential retail when and where it is safe to do so, and subject to those retailers being able to follow the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This will happen in phases from 1 June; further guidance will be issued shortly, including which businesses will
be covered in each phase and the timeframes involved.
- Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.
All other sectors that are currently closed, including hospitality and personal care, are not able to re-open at this point because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher.
This step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to the five tests justifying some or all of the measures below.
The ambition is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas). They should also meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines above.
Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.
Nevertheless the Government will wish to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information at the time allows.
To facilitate the fastest possible re-opening of higher-risk businesses and public places, the Government will carefully phase and pilot re-openings to test their ability to adopt the new COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The Government will also monitor carefully the effects of reopening other similar establishments elsewhere in the world, as this happens.
The Government will establish a series of taskforces to work closely with stakeholders in these sectors to develop ways in which they can make these businesses and public places COVID-19 Secure.