The Government have started to reveal possible solutions and rules for working when lockdown is eased. Measures might include urging employers to stagger start times, ensure social distancing is in place and maximise home working.
This comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to reveal a “roadmap” out of lockdown on Sunday 10th May. Whilst the UK government does not want to ease restrictions too soon, they are under pressure to release plans on what possible next steps might be once the government’s five tests have been met.
The BBC claims to have seen one of seven draft documents produced by the government which they say includes guidance for additional hygiene procedures, physical screens, social distancing, and mentions that protective equipment should be used. Whilst there is no specific guidance regarding the use of PPE yet, this is set to follow.
The guidance given does cover the whole of the UK – but devolved governments do have the power to make their own decisions on how businesses get back to work within their countries.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told BBC Breakfast protective screens, like those used at some supermarket checkouts, PPE and coronavirus testing could be used to make people feel safe in workplaces if it was “vital” they worked close to each other.
Current restrictions are due to be reviewed this Thursday, as many companies are currently forced to remain closed or require staff to work from home.
The PM will continue to review the data, take advice on how much the virus has been suppressed and assess the potential consequences on infection rates of changes to rules, before setting out further plans on Sunday.
How might social distancing work when companies reopen?
Some companies have continued to operate during the pandemic, with social distancing in place, which makes it clear that other businesses should be able to manage too.
Physical markers are a handy way to keep staff 2m apart, and other measures such as taking workers’ temperatures when they arrive and issuing them with masks and visors minimise risk too.
Keeping doors open where possible and employees having their own tools is something that should also be considered.