May 4, 2020 / 4:44 PM / a month ago

UK to recommend sweeping changes to workplaces after lockdown - report

A man wearing a protective face mask is seen in Tooting, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government will recommend a wide range of changes to how people organise their working lives when the coronavirus lockdown is gradually loosened, according to a report on BuzzFeed on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to give more details this week on how his government plans to gradually lift strict restrictions on movement that have been in place since March 23 without risking a new peak in coronavirus transmission.

BuzzFeed said it had obtained seven guidance documents drawn up by ministers that would form the basis of the government’s proposals.

The documents cover hotel and restaurant staff, people who work in other people’s homes, factory workers, people who work outdoors, those who work in vehicles, shop staff and office workers, according to BuzzFeed.

General guidance for all workplaces includes staggering arrival and departure times, handwashing at entry and exit points, using alternatives to touch-based security devices, reviewing office layouts and erecting security screens, among other recommendations, the report said.

It also included a lengthy list of specific recommendations for the different categories of workers.

Businesses with more than five employees will have to produce a written risk assessment of working conditions for their staff if they wish to reopen during the pandemic, according to the documents.

However, those who can work from home will be required to continue to do so in the early stages of the lockdown relaxation.

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Alistair Smout

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