Updated Guidelines for the UK’s Reopening
The global health crisis inflicted by the novel coronavirus from China has frozen economies all over the world. With the pandemic’s adverse effect on countries’ economies, leaders are left with no other choice but to slowly reopen certain industries and sectors to somehow mitigate the economic impact of the virus and help countries recover bit by bit.
The United Kingdom is no different. It has also suffered a huge financial loss due to the closure of businesses and establishments.
After a couple of months of implementing lockdown measures, the UK is slowly reopening to help its citizens recover from the severe financial effect of COVID-19.
The latest on the UK reopenings include pubs and restos that are given the go signal to start operating once again in July under certain conditions. The same is expected from the arts and culture sector where museums, cinemas, and art galleries open their doors to the public once again.
Employers looking at resuming operations should take note that they have a legal responsibility to protect their employees and customers from the risk of contracting the disease onsite. Thus, business owners — whether you’re into retail, food, business support services, or delivery services — should make the necessary physical adjustments to their workplace and update their company policies and operating procedures to ensure that COVID-19 safety measures are followed to the letter.
Updated COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
With the latest from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the two-metre distancing rule has been modified. He said that in places where it’s impossible to keep a distance of two metres from each other, people should maintain a minimum distance of one metre.
For Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, however, the two-metre distancing rule still applies for the time being.
Here are some of the ways businesses are asked to help:
- Rework office layouts to avoid face-to-face seating
- Lessen the number of people allowed in enclosed spaces
- Improve and update the site’s ventilation
- Install protective screens where applicable
- Use face shields as much as possible
- Close off non-essential social spaces
- Provide hand sanitisers in different locations of the workplace
- Schedule different working shifts for everyone and make the staff work in teams
As mentioned, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to operate starting on July 4. However, certain safety measures need to be put in place to ensure public health safety.
Indoor dining will be strictly limited to table service only. There will be limited contact between staff and customers. Customers also need to provide their contact information upon entry into the establishment.
Holiday accommodations like hotels are also slated to reopen and the people can finally spend the night away from home for the first time since the lockdown started.
Johnson also added that two households are now allowed to meet indoors or outdoors with the possibility of holding overnight stays.
The households involved don’t need to always be the same set. For instance, one can visit one set of grandparents this weekend and the other set the following week. Take note, though, that the government does not recommend multiple households under one roof.
As for outdoor meetings, two households can meet regardless of headcount but people from multiple different households can only meet up in groups of six at max.
Scotland, on the other hand, allows people from three different households to gather if they maintain social distancing. The maximum number of people in a group however is only eight. Any number of people from two households are free to gather in Wales while Northern Ireland limits a group gathering to six people regardless of the number of households they’re coming from as long as they keep a safe distance between each other.
In the next few weeks, we will continue to see a lot more reopenings and adjustments as we move along. The important thing is even if the economy is being restarted and more and more public spaces are being opened, we still keep public health a top priority by practicing social distancing, handwashing, and sanitising.