On 19th July we moved to Step 4 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. There are two key changes for businesses. Firstly, the government is no longer advising people to work from home. Consequently, employers can start to plan a return to the workplace. The government has recommended a gradual return over the summer and working arrangements that meet both the needs of the individual and the business. The timing and phasing of employees’ return should be discussed and agreed. Secondly, businesses do not need to implement social distancing in their workplace or venue and customers and employees do not need to social distance from people they do not live with.
People will be expected (although this is voluntary) to still cover their faces in crowded and enclosed indoor areas, such as public transport and shops. Some airlines and transport networks (for example Transport for London) and retailers have also indicated that they will still require face coverings.
The Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidance has been published. It offers advice for safe working in a range of settings including offices, factories, laboratories, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, construction, events and retail.
In this updated guidance, a few restrictions remain in place including:
- The need to self-isolate if someone tests positive for coronavirus (unless exempt).
- The need to self-isolate for those in close contact with someone who tests positive until 16th August (unless exempt). After that date under-18s and those who have received a second COVID-19 vaccination at least 10 days before the contact no longer need to isolate.
- Border restrictions remain in place, depending on the status of the departure country.