With the latest announcements on changes and easing to restrictions, we provide a summary of these across the UK, and what these mean for your business.
England and Scotland
Plans have been announced to further ease Covid-19 restrictions in both England and Scotland on 19th July 2021.
In Scotland, plans have been outlined to move all areas to protection level 0 on 19th July 2021 (some reduced restrictions will still apply, for example, on numbers of people who can meet indoors, requirements to work from home where practical, nightclubs and adult entertainment venues must remain closed) with a view to removing all major restrictions by 9th August 2021.
The lifting of restrictions is paused with a review due on 15th July 2021.
The next review of restrictions is due on 8th July 2021.
The key points from yesterday’s announcement by the Government are outlined below. Please note: these apply to England only, and could change depending on prevailing conditions and scientific advice at the time.
|Face coverings||Legal requirements to wear face coverings to be lifted
But wearing them will still be recommended in crowded and enclosed public spaces
Venues can make their own decisions on “dress codes” for staff and visitors but will need to avoid being discriminatory
|Social distancing||Legal requirements to social distance lifted in most cases (separate hygiene rules in healthcare and other high-risk settings)|
|Work from home||Legal requirement to work from home where practical to be lifted, allowing employers to require staff to return to the physical workplace|
|Self-isolation / test and trace||Testing and tracing to continue
Self-isolation to remain for those who test positive (employers cannot require someone who is self-isolating to go to their workplace)
Reduced need to self-isolate for some of those who are close contacts of people with a positive test e.g. for those who are under 18 or who have been fully vaccinated (this is expected to apply from 16th August)
|QR codes / test and trace||Those venues where QR codes are currently a legal requirement will still be recommended to display them, however the legal requirement to do so will be removed|
|Personal hygiene||Extra handwashing, covering your face when sneezing/coughing, not going to work if feeling unwell will all continue to be recommended|
For more information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-summer-2021-roadmap/covid-19-response-summer-2021
- All venues, for example, nightclubs will be permitted to reopen
- Venue capacity limits will be lifted e.g. numbers attending concerts, theatres or sports events
- There will be no legal requirements for Covid certificates for entering any venue or event
- Hospitality businesses will no longer be required to provide table service only
- No limits on numbers at weddings and funerals
- No restrictions on communal worship and singing
- Care home residents will no longer be limited to only 5 named visitors
Further announcements are expected in particular regarding education and healthcare sectors.
What does this mean for your business?
There isn’t a one size fits all recommendation, and each organisation will need to make decisions as to what works best. It is important to recognise that while some people may feel confident about returning to the workplace, others may feel anxious.
A gradual approach
It may be that a gradual approach to returning to work and lifting of restrictions will be more easily accepted. This could include leaving screens, one way systems and automatic temperature checkers in place as people adjust.
It may be sensible to consider staggering start, breaks and finish times, continuing to encourage good hygiene and hand washing, providing good ventilation, and video conferencing.
Review your current Covid-19 risk assessments
As you make changes, it is important to review your risk assessments for your workplace. If you would like advice on your how to carry out a review and how to implement changes, please get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your normal PIB Group contact.