What does the latest lockdown mean for the UK?
On the 4th January 2021, the UK was once again plunged into a nationwide lockdown situation. This is a worrying time – as it’s unclear how long these restrictions will last. Michael Gove has suggested it could be as late as March 2021.
Which businesses are still open and are they safe to visit? These are just some of the questions people are asking in direct response to the prime minister’s announcement yesterday.
As infection control and sanitisation specialists, we can protect your people, premises, fleets, and vehicles from coronavirus. In fact, our range of products and services can almost 100% guarantee you are operating in a biosecure environment where COVID can’t spread.
Our mission is to keep communities safe during these difficult times – so we wanted to share with you our take on the recent changes to the rules to keep you informed and provide some simple guidance around what you can and can’t do.
We also want to provide some help and guidance around what you can do to protect yourself and others in your community if you do need to go out for some shopping or to work.
How does the new lockdown affect people like you and me?
You can only go out if absolutely necessary. But what counts as an essential reason?
Things you can do
1. Work away from home if your profession allows it
Some professions cannot be carried out remotely. This means that carers, cleaners, nannies, tradespeople, and social workers can work at a location other than their home without penalisation.
To prevent further transmission of the coronavirus, this exempt group must observe social distancing rules and wear full PPE. Keeping their working environments and vehicles virus and bacteria-free is important too. That’s why sanitisation programs like ours are so important during this challenging period.
2. Exercise outdoors & shopping is okay too
You can still leave your home – to go for a run or a long walk, for example. It’s also okay to meet one person from another household in a public space.
Visiting shops for essential supplies like food and medicine is still okay – unless you’re vulnerable, in which case limiting your time outdoors is vital.
Most shops you visit will use a sanitisation programme like ours. Either that or they’ll employ in-house cleaning staff to do the work instead.
Essential businesses include:
- Doctors surgeries and veterinary practices
- Petrol stations and vehicle repair centres
- Public areas – including:
- Playgrounds (outdoor)
- Post offices and banks
This means that you will enjoy a certain level of protection when visiting commercial or medical premises. But it’s still important to wear PPE and observe social distancing rules.
3. Other permitted activities include:
- Visiting a place of religious worship
- Meeting with your support bubble
- Actions linked to moving home
Things you can’t do
1. Non-essential shops will be closed until further notice
If you want to burn off some stress by lifting some weights or going for a run, you won’t be able to do it at your local gym – as all fitness venues have been shut until the coronavirus is under control.
Entertainment venues like cinemas have also closed as a precaution – as have pubs and restaurants (but you can still order a takeaway by paying online and drivers will leave your takeaway by your door).
Those food outlets still in operation should be using a sanitisation programme like ours to maintain a hygienic environment. Workers will also take precautions while handling food to prevent contamination.
2. You can’t attend school, college, or university in person
All educational facilities in the UK have been forced to close their gates until the government says it’s safe for them to reopen. However, pupils can still learn remotely by attending sessions hosted by their teachers on Zoom and other video-conferencing platforms. Vulnerable pupils – as well as the children of key workers – will still be able to use physical learning environments.
Throughout this pandemic, we’ve helped keep places of education safer with our infection control cleaning programmes. Rest assured that we – and others in our industry – are doing everything possible to protect teachers and pupils who have no other choice than to interact in a non-virtual setting.
3. Travelling is only permitted if absolutely essential
You can only travel if you have a legitimate reason – for example a dentists or doctors appointment; going out for essential shopping supplies; getting your car repaired; and, any other reason covered under the government’s current lockdown rules.
If travelling on public transport, procedures should be in place to protect you. For example, drivers must wear masks when in proximity to passengers – but not while operating a vehicle. They must also wash their hands and use sanitisation gel frequently.
It’s not clear whether public transport systems in the UK use infection control programmes to keep our buses and trains safe. You can find further guidance on the matter here.
We’re still working hard to keep UK businesses and their local communities safe
We’re still helping businesses and organisations to stay safe during these uncertain times. Care homes, schools, medical practices, takeaway outlets, and places of worship are just some of the sectors we’ve devised sanitisation programmes for.
When the UK reopens again (hopefully in the not-too-distant future) we’ll also be there to support other industries that need to protect their customers – like gyms, cinemas, restaurants, and bowling alleys.
We hope that you feel safer, knowing that specialist cleaning companies like Electroclean are disinfecting premises and vehicles to minimise risk to you and those you care about.
Does your business or organisation need a sanitisation programme?
If you work in a sector that’s exempt from the exclusions imposed on businesses in the latest lockdown, you’ll be keen to keep your teams, customers, and any other visitors safe.
Many businesses and organisations lack the equipment or expertise to properly sanitise their environments and fleets – which is why they often hire specialist cleaning companies like ElectroClean.
We also supply COVID-19 lateral flow rapid test kits that are 93.3% accurate and produce results in just 15 minutes. No lab equipment is needed and the test can be completed at home without a medical professional present.