Covid: Preparing for Plan B
Last week the Government set out its Autumn and Winter plan for Covid19 in England*. You can read the full document here COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Essentially there are two plans, A and B. For now Plan A applies, but at a certain point if the Government deems it necessary in order to protect the NHS, Plan B could be activated. It therefore makes sense for businesses to be aware now of what Plan B could mean for them.
For now, our general advice on controls has not changed since our last update on Covid19 although we note the continuing emphasis on providing good ventilation to enclosed indoor spaces which obviously includes most workplaces. The HSE have provided clear advice on this, including how to identify poorly ventilated spaces, which is something you should be considering as part of your risk assessment. Their advice on this is here: Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (hse.gov.uk)
The Government will continue to update sector-specific guidance for workplaces as necessary, although there have only been minor changes since 16 August: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
In the event that Plan B is implemented, the Government has stated that it could include asking people to work from home again for a limited period. Any decision to implement this will only be taken based on data at the time, however, it would be prudent for businesses to ensure they can, if necessary, put their home-working plans back into action.
If you need advice on any aspect of this, please contact us.
(*Please note that this specific Government plan applies only to England for now. Similar advice is applicable to other parts of the UK, but the detail may be different)