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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson Statement 10th May 2020

The PM stated that the current Covid Alert Level is at 4, where 1 is Covid19 is no longer present in the UK, and 5 at its most critical.

Boris went on to outline 3 steps over the next two months, which are conditional on the impact on the R rate.

Step 1

Anyone who can work from home should.  Those who are unable to work from home (e.g. in construction) should be encouraged to go back to work but to respect social distancing, avoid public transport and travel to work by car, walking or biking where possible.

From Wednesday, daily exercise will be increased to unlimited, however this should be with members of your own household only, and that social distancing should be recognised. Fines will be increased to breach of these rules.

The Government will continue to monitor the R rate, and if remains below 1, then:

Step 2

MAY be able to phase in the opening of some shops at the earliest from 1st June, as well as opening primary schools in stages to reception, year 1 and year 6. Secondary pupils facing exams next year will hopefully get back to school at some point before the summer.  Further guidance will follow on how this can work.

Step 3

Earliest by July and subject to all the conditions set out, and further scientific advice and data, opening some hospitality and public places provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.

In addition, to prevent reinfection from abroad, any persons travelling by air into the country will be required to quarantine.

Over the next two months, driving by science, data and public health. All is conditional.  Any outbreaks will put a stop on the above.

We are expecting further guidance tomorrow – I will keep you updated.

Your employees may well be concerned about returning to work, so whilst Boris suggests people return to work from tomorrow, do consider that they may need to make arrangements for a return, especially if they rely on public transport.  I suggest contacting your employees to discuss a return to work, listening to their concerns (e.g. childcare, transport, safety) and coming up with a plan.

Do ensure that, as an employer, you are required to take steps to provide a safe working environment, and you may need to consider making some adjustments to normal working practices. Again, we expect guidance on this, but there is nothing published yet – will keep you updated as soon as I can with advice. In the meantime, I suggest carrying out a risk assessment of your own working environment – let me know if you need help with this.

Do outline your agreed plan in writing – I can provide a letters for this, if you need it.  In addition, if you feel you need to enforce some holiday leave in order to prevent an influx of requests on return, please give me a call so that I can offer guidance on this.

There are some talk of extending the furlough scheme beyond the end of June, but reducing the grant from 80% of pay to 60%.  We expect clarity on this some time next week.

For anything else – give me a call and I will do my best to help.

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