As the Government gradually relaxes restrictions in the UK, we have the new challenge of local lockdowns to contend with. Leicester has been the first city to be returned to lockdown following a spike in COVID-19 cases.
With this being a potentially ongoing challenge, the GGF urges any companies operating in areas where there is a local lockdown, to follow the government guidance as it was previous to the easing of the national lockdown. This means that companies should decide to work in people’s homes then it should be on the premise that it is essential (i.e. an emergency or needs to be done to avoid injury or harm to the occupant).
Showrooms and retail premises can remain open but only if the social distancing is followed and PPE is used and issued to visitors. It is also advisable to operate an appointment only service for showrooms in event of a local lockdown.
What is a Local Lock down?
A local lockdown is implemented by the government for a local area (village, town, city or county) as opposed to the previous national lockdown. The areas of the local lockdown will naturally vary and it’s important that you check the government website to get details of local areas and boundaries where a lock down has been imposed.
It is also worth noting that the local councils and authorities may publish additional specific guidance for you to check.
The GGF has been informed that the Government will publish a new piece of guidance for local lockdowns similar to the one currently in place for the Leicester lockdown
Members can utilize the government postcode checker (this may not be available for all lockdowns) to check if their business falls into the lockdown boundary.
The guidance is mostly to revert back to the national lockdown guidance however it is important to check the aforementioned government guidance to account for any local adjustments.
Can business continue?
It is important that Members take reasonable steps and follow the guidance available to enable their businesses to continue. If working in domestic homes, it is advised that Members pay particular attention to the social distancing guidance if installing, and to work remotely were possible when selling or making contact with customers.
Guidance will be developed for any local lockdowns and this will detail the requirements for the local lock down and highlight any restrictions.
The GGF has recently contacted the Government about localised lockdowns and the advice we have received is:
“Companies and tradespeople should work on the assumption that the guidance that applied in April now applies in lockdown areas such as Leicester. This means construction and home improvement can continue, but there should be particular care to observe the rules around working in occupied homes, and whether this is essential (i.e. an emergency or causing danger to the occupant) or can be postponed.”
If you do decide to work during a lockdown then the following guidance should be followed:
Construction Leadership Council
The GGF will continue to monitor the situation on reports of new spikes in cases in local areas and inform Members immediately if there is any news of further local lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.