COVID-19 Working Safely Guidance Updated (England)

Following press announcements yesterday and the day before, the government’s Working Safely Guidance (England) is updated to reflect a change to the 2m rule (to allow a lesser distance) and add guidance on support bubbles.

Information on the updates that have taken place to the Working Safely Guidance (England) and access to the updated documents is here.

Note : physical distancing of 2m continues to be applied in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

COVID-19 Aviation Health & Safety Protocol (EU)

On 15 April 2020, the European Commission, in cooperation with the President of the European Council, put forward a Joint European Roadmap setting out recommendations on lifting COVID-19 containment measures. I Blog posted about this at the time.

As called for in the Roadmap, on 13 May 2020, the Commission put forward further guidelines on how to progressively restore transport services, connectivity and free movement as swiftly as the health situation allows it, while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers. I also put a Blog post about this.

The Commission Communication mandated EASA (the European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and ECDC (the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) to issue jointly more detailed technical operational guidance for the aviation sector.

This document is here.

As the document itself says –

The purpose of this aviation health safety protocol is to provide guidance to airport operators, aeroplane operators and national aviation authorities, as well as other relevant stakeholders, on how to facilitate the safe and gradual restoration of passenger transport. This is subject to the deployment of proportionate and effective measures to protect the health of aviation personnel and passengers, by reducing the risk of SARS- CoV-2 transmission in the airport and on board aircraft as much as practicable.

COVID-19 Restrictions Changes (UK)

In the past days, a number of UK jurisdictions have changed their Restrictions law. This is in order to relax some of the lockdown measures.

The new amendments will be loaded today into the COVID-19 Law List in Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists – the COVID-19 Law List is found on the top right accessed from the OHS topic page. [UK and Ireland systems]

As this emergency situation continues, we will be bringing forward COVID-19 Law Checklists (UK jurisdictions). I will advise nearer the time when these will be available.

COVID-19 Workplace Guidance (England)

Yesterday (25 May) saw the key Working Safely guidance for different workplaces (issued 11 May) updated to reflect industry feedback and to expand coverage of non essential retail categories ahead of planned opening.

On the 19 May, the 5 steps for businesses to take were added – here. Please note (as I posted before, check back on my Blog, the risk assessments of larger businesses must be published on their websites).

You should share the results of your risk assessment with your employees. If possible, you should consider publishing it on your website (and we would expect all businesses with over 50 employees to do so).

Notice that should be displayed in the workplace – here.

The Working Safely Guidance link is here.

Please note the links to the guidance issued in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where the timetable of non-essential business re-opening differs.

Non-essential retail in England will re-open in June, as set out in the PM timeline issued yesterday 25 May –

• Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. As with garden centres, the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces. Car showrooms often have significant outdoor space and it is generally easier to apply social distancing.

• All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.

Certain businesses and activities must remain closed – see here. This is underpinned by enacted law.

COVID-19 Reissued Guidance (Wales)

I posted yesterday that Scotland had reissued its stay at home and away from others guidance. Today, Wales has also reissued its stay at home and away from others guidance – here.

Please read carefully, including the information via the links. Wales is not exactly the same as Scotland.

As I posted yesterday and today, England and Northern Ireland are different again, and from one another.

COVID-19 New State Guidance (Northern Ireland)

England yesterday issued new state guidance, and Ireland (the Republic) issued a Roadmap some days ago (see recent posts about these).

Northern Ireland has now issued new state guidance – here.

Unlike England and the Republic, Northern Ireland is not proposing specific target dates.

Apart from garden centres reopening, no changes to workplace restrictions are proposed. The next review is 28 May.

COVID-19 Business OHS Rules (UK)

UPDATE (2) : All employers must carry out a covid-19 risk assessment and share the results with the workforce says BEIS Secretary (statement in Parliament) “we expect all employers with over 50 employees to share the risk assessment on their website”.

UPDATE : garden centres will also reopen in Wales

As promised, the UK state has now published updated and new business and workplace OHS rules, applicable throughout the UK, as follows –

(1) 11 May update to the page that identifies and links to business rules that have been temporarily relaxed – some of these have an Occupational Health and Safety relevance – here.

(2) 8 new sector guides, dated 11 May, to help employers, employees and the self-employed in all parts of the UK understand how to work safely during the COVID pandemic – here.

These sector guides add to the already published guidance on workplace risk assessment that is issued by the UK and the devolved administrations I posted about some weeks ago.

* Construction and outdoor work – here

* Factories, plants and warehouses – here

* Homes (work in domestic settings) – here

* Laboratories and research facilities – here

* Offices and contact centres – here

* Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery – here

* Shops and branches – here

* Vehicles – here

Note, the UK has identified different classes of premises –

(1) essential premises – those that must stay open

(2) non-essential premises – those that must stay closed

(3) the rest of non-essential premises not in the list of closed premises.

The devolved administrations have slightly different variants on these three groups – see the COVID-19 Law List in Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists, referred to in Email Alerts.

The above 8 sector guides are to be applied to the groups (1) and (3) above. There is no change in the list of stay closed premises (2) except in England, where Garden Centres will be allowed to open from Wednesday 13 May (and this will require a change in the England Restrictions Regulations).

COVID-19 Reissued Guidance (Scotland)

Scotland will continue with its Stay at Home and Away from Others instruction. This is termed Physical Distancing (as distinct from Social Distancing across the border in England).

The reissued guidance is here.

Note: persons should stay close to their home, and not travel to England.

This Scottish guidance is part of a series of guidance documents issued in Scotland. Please follow the links on the page (the link takes you to) to check you are aware of all the guidance documents issued in Scotland.