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Government's plans to ease lockdown revealed

According to online new site, BuzzFeed, the government has produced seven guidance documents designed to help some businesses get back to work.   

These apply to workers in the following settings:

  • hotel and restaurant staff
  • those working in other peoples homes
  • factory workers
  • people working in vehicles
  • shop workers
  • office workers

Risk assessments

Businesses with more than five employees must produce a written risk assessment before they can re-open (something we highlighed last week: TUC sets out strategy to get UK back to work).

Working from home

Those who can work from home must continue to do so.

Vulnerable workers

Those who are shielding in line with medical guidance must continue to remain at home. And, businesses must help the wider group of vulnerable workers to continue to work from home, or take extra care around social distancing if they return to work. 

General guidance for all workplaces

The government is expected to produce detailed guidance for each sector. However, the general rules that are expected to apply to all workplaces are: 

  • Staggering arrival / departure times to reduce crowding in and out
  • Providing additional parking or bike-racks
  • Reducing congestion, for example by having more entry points to the workplace and one for entering the building and one for exiting (if possible)
  • Hand washing or hand sanitation at entry and exit points
  • Alternatives to touch-based security devices such as keypads
  • Storage for staff clothes and bags
  • Staff to change into work uniforms on site using appropriate facilities/changing areas
  • Washing uniforms on site rather than at home
  • Discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites
  • Reducing job and location rotation, for example, assigning employees to specific floors
  • Introducing more one-way flow routes through buildings
  • Reducing maximum occupancy for lifts, providing hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts and encouraging use of stairs
  • Regulating use of corridors, lifts and staircases
  • Reviewing layouts to allow staff to work further apart from each other
  • Using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help staff maintain 2 meter distancing
  • Avoiding employees working face-to-face and working side-by-side or facing away from each other where possible
  • Using screens to create a physical barrier between people (where appropriate)
  • Staggering break times to reduce pressure on the break rooms and using outside areas for breaks
  • Using protective screening for staff in receptions or similar areas
  • Reconfiguring seating and tables to maintain spacing and reduce face-to-face interactions
  • Providing packaged meals or similar to avoid opening staff canteens

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BuzzFeed News has obtained all seven of the guidance documents drawn up by cabinet office minister Michael Gove and business secretary Alok Sharma, that will form the basis for the government’s proposals to get people back to work in the coming weeks.”