The Government announced on 5 July that it intends to end all current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in England from 19 July. This was confirmed on 12 July, following a review of emerging health data. We summarised the original announcement here:

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Since we published the above alert, it has become clear that the response to Covid risk in the workplace is likely play out in a sector-specific way. The Government published six sector-specific guides on 14 July, making recommendations pertinent to those sectors on how to mitigate COVID-19 risk in particular settings. Common to all sectors, the government has set out six basic steps it is recommending employers should take:

  • Complete a health and safety risk assessment that includes the risk from COVID-19.
  • Provide adequate ventilation.
  • Clean more often.
  • Turn away people with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Enable people to check in at your venue.
  • Communicate and train.

Unions in the retail sector are calling for face-masks to be worn in shops in order to protect retail staff (who, notably have faced abuse for trying to enforce the rules). Some businesses owners, particularly in the hospitality sector, have indicated that continuing to observe social distancing would make their businesses unprofitable. Meanwhile, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has decided to make facemasks mandatory on public transport. Nightclubs have been recommended by Government to require COVID status-certification and look set to implement this. With infections continuing to rise, and self-isolation rules set to continue after 16 August for those who have not been fully vaccinated, COVID-19 will continue to have an effect on staff planning for some time to come.