Updated Government Guidance on working safely

The government has yesterday updated the ‘Working Safely’ Guidance for shops, branches and close contact services to take account of the move to Plan B restrictions this week.  You can find it here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/shops-branches-and-close-contact-services

Just to remind you, that means (information taken from the updated guidance):

  • Face coverings are required by law in most indoor public places, unless an exemption or reasonable excuse applies.
  • Staff and customers are required by law to wear a face covering in shops. This includes:
  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire, this includes shops in larger premises such as a gift shop within a museum)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • auction houses
  • post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
  • estate and lettings agents
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (such as hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing studios)
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • retail galleries
  • retail travel agents
  • takeaways (without space for consumption of food or drink on premises)
  • pharmacies
  • Face coverings are required in premises that provide close contact services. Staff and customers should also wear a face covering if close contact services are taking place in someone’s home.
  • Face coverings are also required in all parts of transport hubs, including any businesses located within these venues, apart from hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants and pubs, and nightclubs. Face coverings are not required in any venue, or part of a venue, that is being used wholly or mainly for eating and drinking.
  • Face coverings are required in shops and communal areas within shopping centres. Whilst they are not legally required in other venues within shopping centres, it’s strongly advised face coverings are worn in all areas.
  • Office workers who can work from home should do so from Monday 13 December.

Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go into work – for example, to access equipment necessary for their role or where their role must be completed in-person. In-person working will be necessary in some cases to continue the effective and accessible delivery of some public services and private industries.  If people need to continue to go into work, they should consider taking lateral flow tests regularly to manage their own risk and the risk to others.  Employers should consider whether home working is appropriate for workers facing mental or physical health difficulties, or those with a particularly challenging home working environment.

  • From 6am on Wednesday 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check the COVID status of customers using the NHS COVID Pass or other accepted proof.  This includes unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees. To enter or work in these venues and events, customers and workers must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or have tested negative in the last 48 hours (unless they are exempt from these requirements).   https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19/events-and-attractions

The government has also announced its intention to replace self-isolation with daily testing for some contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. I will bring you further details when I have them.  Until then, current rules continue to apply and you must self-isolate if instructed to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

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