Coronavirus: Possible rules after locking up the workplace revealed


An employee is seen behind a protective screen while serving a customer in a Pret a Manger store which reopened for delivery and take out at Wimbledon on May 1.

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Protective screens are one of the alternatives to social distancing suggested in a draft document

The reduction of the number of offices and alternatives to social separation where this is not possible are among the measures envisaged to allow the reopening of workplaces.

A draft government plan to relax anti-coronavirus restrictions seen by the BBC also urges employers to minimize numbers by using equipment, spread out work schedules and maximize homework.

The Prime Minister will unveil his “roadmap” on Sunday.

Unions are concerned about the ability of companies to obtain a protection kit.

Leaders say efforts to acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers could see companies compete with the NHS for scarce and essential supplies.

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The draft strategy seen by the BBC indicates that additional hygiene procedures, physical screens and the use of protective equipment should be considered when it is impossible to maintain a distance of 2 m (6 feet) between workers.

However, the section labeled PPE only contains a promise that “more details” will follow.

“Reopening the economy will require more than changed work practices,” wrote BBC editor Simon Jack.

“Workers must be sure they are safe. Companies must be convinced that they will not be prosecuted in case of error. And consumers need to be confident enough to spend money. “

Many businesses have been closed since the introduction of generalized limits on daily life on March 23 to limit the effects of the virus’s spread on the NHS.

Ministers are expected to review these restrictions by Thursday.

During Sunday’s daily briefing, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove stressed that the UK would “not flip a switch and come back … to normal.”

He said there would be “a phased approach … that would allow us to monitor the impact that these changes have on public health.”

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK is 28,446 – an increase of 315 from Saturday’s figure – with 14,248 people currently being treated in hospital.

However, admissions have declined, as have the number of intensive care beds used.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the Prime Minister will review the data, take advice on the amount of virus removed and assess the potential impact on infection rates of the rule changes, before setting plans on Sunday next.

Responses received yesterday evening to the draft workplace guidelines for businesses, business groups and unions will also be taken into account.

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Media captionGrant Shapps said restrictions on people entering the UK are being considered.

Railway unions have written to Boris Johnson expressing concern over the operators’ plans to increase the number of trains in service.

“We will not accept new work models that endanger the lives of railway workers and passengers,” said the joint letter from ASLEF, RMT and TSSA.

Transportation secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC on Sunday that more buses and trains would run, but that asking companies to stagger employees’ work hours could help avoid congested travel.

In other developments:

  • Businesses, including sole proprietorships and public limited companies, can apply for £ 2,000-50,000 “bounce” loans, 100% guaranteed by the government.
  • Boris Johnson to urge countries to “pull together” and share expertise as he co-hosts international conference to lead the race for coronavirus treatments, tests and vaccines

  • Government said 76,500 coronavirus tests were done on Saturday, below its daily goal of 100,000
  • Drug developed by British scientists to treat Covid-19 patients is being tested at Southampton University Hospital
  • University students in England must pay full tuition fees even if classes are taught online in the fall, government says
  • France, Italy and Spain record lowest daily death toll for weeks as they prepare to ease restrictions


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