Lifting restrictions does not mean that the risks from Covid-19 have disappeared. Instead, it marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic where individuals and businesses must exercise judgement and manage the risks to themselves and others.
Moving towards a model of strengthened public health advice, rather than restrictions, means we need to find a way of living with Covid-19 where we can enjoy the freedoms but are mindful of others.
To help protect your business, with the expected increase of Covid-19 infections in the coming weeks, we recommend that you continue to practice the Covid-safe behaviours we have had in place over the last year. All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act you have a duty of care to your employees. Providing a workplace that is safe will increase the confidence of your employees, reassure your customers that it is a safe place to visit and will reduce infection rates helping to keep your business open.
The following workplace controls have not changed:
Other steps to help reduce workplace transmission of Covid will include employers taking measures to limit the number of people their workers are in contact with, for example staggering the times people come into work or go home or staggering rest breaks.
All businesses legally must review their Covid safe risk assessments. For businesses with more than five employees, the findings of the risk assessment must be recorded, but we recommend that all businesses, regardless of size, record their risk assessment findings and share them with staff.
Businesses and employers must continue to consult with their workforce on health and safety matters. There is advice on the HSE website with examples of questions to ask to help employees understand the risks and contribute to decisions on reducing the risk of transmission.