UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told MPs that the government’s roadmap for gradually easing Coronavirus lockdown measures will enable the country to ‘control’ the disease, but only if people continue to follow the rules.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson set out the Government’s plan which has been published in a document this afternoon.
During his statement to MPs, Mr Johnson said that people should now wear face coverings in enclosed spaces, but urged people not to wear face masks designed for medical professionals.
Responding to questions from the Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer, Mr Johnson said that COVID-19 secure safety guidelines for workplaces would be published tonight and guidelines to help keep the transport network safe would be published tomorrow.
On Monday, there were reports of overcrowding and a lack of social distancing on London’s tube network, as members of the public rushed back to work, some confused by Mr Johnson’s statement on Sunday evening.
People are being urged to stay at home as much as possible. Those that can work from home should continue to do so. Those that cannot work from home and are in the listed sectors (food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories) should return to work provided they do not have symptoms and it is safe for them to return.
Some employers have been expressing concerns over safety if their staff return to work. Following the release of the government’s document on Monday, James Simpson, head of employment at Blaser Mills Law, said;
“Employers have a duty to assess and manage risks to their employees’ safety in the workplace, and the government will be releasing its ‘COVID-19 Secure’ guidelines later this week detailing the measures that must be taken to minimise the risk of infection in the workplace.
“Employers should implement these practices as soon as possible, and this may mean having to adapt working spaces to ensure staff are able to stay a two-metre distance apart, keeping the environment well ventilated and ensuring all staff have access to protective equipment and facilities to wash and sanitise their hands regularly throughout the day.
“Employers will need to continue taking a flexible approach, and may need to consider adjusting shift patterns and start/finish times to help staff avoid rush hour, splitting people into smaller contained teams and minimising the need for face to face meetings, to limit the number of people each staff member may come into contact with.
“The government will be providing regular updates on changes to these measures and restrictions over the coming weeks and months, and it’s crucial that employers stay abreast of all developments in order to understand their obligations.”
So far, over 32,000 people have died in the UK after contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus, according to latest figures.