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New guidance: Government publishes COVID-19 recovery strategy for phased return to work

The government has published its 60-page strategy ‘Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’ for a phased re-opening of the economy through June and July in the face of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

June 2020

This update was published in Legal Alert - June 2020

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

Specific dates for re-opening different parts of the economy under the strategy will depend on the rate of reproduction of the virus, and how effectively it is being contained/reduced. The intention is that - if it is safe for them to do so and provided the government’s five tests have been met – certain non-essential retailers will re-open and certain school students will go back to school during June. Various events will also be allowed, behind closed doors.

From 4 July, the intention is that further businesses and venues will re-open, including the following:

  • Businesses in the hospitality sector, such as pubs, restaurants and hotels/B&Bs.
  • Recreation and leisure businesses, such as cinemas and tourist venues.
  • Personal service providers such as hairdressers and beauty salons.

However, business activities which may involve crowds gathering together may find they must still stay closed, or are only allowed to open in part.

When re-opening, businesses in the following eight sectors should follow new ‘COVID-19 Secure’ guidelines, comprising a document for each sector:

  • Construction and other outdoor work.
  • Factories, plants and warehouses.
  • Work in homes.
  • Labs and research facilities.
  • Offices and contact centres.
  • Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery.
  • Shops and branches.
  • Work in vehicles.

Businesses should also ensure they are aware of ongoing updates to the government ’s ‘Guidance for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19)’, which helps employers set up and maintain a return-to-work strategy for their employees.

The government has set up five taskforces, led by ministers, to create further safety guidelines for the sectors yet to open, such as the pubs and restaurants sector and the leisure sector.

Organisations can sign up to a government email service that notifies them of updates to the coronavirus information on gov.uk as it occurs – although the relevant webpage warns that there can be 40-60 updates each week.

The Health and Safety Executive has also published guidance ‘Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak’ for employers and those who are self-employed and work with or near other people.

Operative date

  • Now and July

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Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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