We’re sure you’ll have seen the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that legal COVID restrictions, subject to a final review on the 12 July, will cease. This may have caused excitement that the world is returning to normal, or fear that the restrictions that have helped stem the tide of the infection are being removed. Whatever your view, everyone will be asking themselves, “what does this mean now?”
Last night’s announcement changes nothing for the next two weeks. You must continue to implement a COVID-Secure workplace with all of the controls that go with that.
This means that for now:
- Social distancing remains in place
- Increased housekeeping should still be implemented
- Facial coverings are still required for work within 1m
- Track and trace will continue to isolate those in close contact with other positive cases
It is important, though, that we look to the future and start to plan. Whilst last night’s announcement was black and white, it is a complex issue with lots of considerations. Government advice was clear: the ‘work from home, where possible’ guidance, will be lifted from 19th July. This will be met with glee by some, but others may feel anxious about the prospect of a return to the workplace. It is important, therefore, to deal with the transition by considering all aspects. Everyone will want as smooth and as successful transition as possible.
Things to consider:
- What do you want your ‘new normal’ to be? Have there been some aspects of the past 15 months that have been a success for your organisation? You might want to keep these.
- How are you going to spread the word of your plans? Two way Communication is essential, as early as possible and as regularly as you can. In order to allay any feats and keep staff engaged, involved and ultimately retained, It’s important to set out your proposals, consult and listen.
- Do you need to inform your insurers of any changes that your new plans may cause? Are unoccupied building now going to be occupied? Have you got more equipment on site suddenly? All of these things need to be advised so that your cover is accurate and fully in place.
The Government are going to continue to issue further guidance throughout the week, with information for schools being due out today. It is also likely that the HSE will issue their own guidance as well. We expect this to include a continued requirement to continue to consider the risks associated with COVID and the controls required to manage the risk successfully.
This will be a challenging time. ProAktive will continue to keep you updated as and when further information is available.