COVID-19 (Coronavirus) guidance for businesses who are permitted to remain open

Pages in COVID-19 (Coronavirus) guidance for businesses who are permitted to remain open

  1. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) guidance for businesses who are permitted to remain open
  2. Key national guidance for businesses
  1. Social distancing in the workplace

Social distancing in the workplace

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). They include things like keeping 2 metres away from people outside of your household (while wearing a face covering) in addition to washing your hands as mentioned in previous sections of the guidance.

If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household is self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2- metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Some examples of how to ensure social distance in the workplace include:

  • Having ‘Social Distancing’ Zones i.e. having maximum numbers of people within designated areas to make distancing possible. For example, ‘only one person in the kitchen at any one time’ or spacing out desks (2 metres) to reduce people clustering together in workspaces. You can put signs/markers up to help with this.
  • Display posters to remind employees of the importance of social distancing at all times (please see links to posters below)
  • Place 2 metre distance markers to ensure people stand at least 2 metres apart in areas where groups may be working. Limit the number of people who are entering the business to enable people to stay 2 metres apart
  • Enforce a limit of no more than two people gathering outside for lunch/coffee/cigarette breaks. They must continue to maintain social distance.

Increasing awareness within the workplace

Businesses have a key role to play in displaying advice and guidance during this time. You can access a suite of posters and leaflets which can be downloaded and printed.

You can also download this information as a PDF to print. The information in this document is correct as of 2 April 2020.

Government guidelines may change, and the links should be used to ensure that you are following up-to-date requirements. For further advice or clarification please contact Sue Frossell, Consultant in Public Health.

Acknowledgement: many thanks to Warwickshire County Council for sharing their work in this area with us.

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