The Government announced yesterday that the July 19th target date will now include the lifting of most legal and recommended Guidelines for Covid-19. What does this mean for your business? What does this mean if your business is currently restricted by COVID measures? What impact will this have on your need for PPE and sanitisation products? Read on and we'll answer these questions, setting your mind at ease for July 19th.
Boris Johnson said in yesterday's announcement that, permitting a positive report on July 12th concerning transmission rates, the majority of current legal and recommended restrictions will be lifted on July 19th. The date, nicknamed by some as "Freedom Day", will see the removal of social distancing guidelines, PPE requirements and limitations on the events and hospitality industries.
The Prime Minister stated this was a "move away from legal restrictions" and emphasised that the public should go on to make our own informed decisions.
There has been no confirmation of recommended practices surrounding sanitisation products, and the safe assumption would be that hand sanitisers are going to be a common part of day to day life for a long time coming. However, it's been confirmed that isolation practices will remain in place following positive testing of the Covid-19 virus, and it's understood that coronavirus will be a regular part of life for a long time coming. The legal requirements for wearing face masks in public areas may be coming to an end, but it'll remain recommended as a voluntary measure.
Despite the promise that face mask requirements are set to be lifted, the knowledge that COVID will be around for a long time and warnings from scientists is why we're advising that you hesitate before throwing out your PPE and sanitisation products and continue to follow recommended procedure.
Preventative measures should remain in offices in order to best protect your staff and clients.
Impact on the Office
Guidance on working from home will end, so more and more businesses are going to be returning to full capacity. Although it's tempting to find ways to recapture the sense of normality, including ignoring the preventative measures you implemented over the last year, we advise against getting rid of covid-safe measures just yet.
At time of writing, the amount of adults in the United Kingdom that have received their 2nd dose of the vaccine is 64%. That means that not even three quarters of adults are fully vaccinated, requiring the need for the continuing use of PPE and sanitisers. Although social distancing guidelines for inside areas are being lifted, there's no harm in having a fully functioning air conditioning unit to make sure the air in confined spaces are as clean as possible.
The good news is that currently 86.1% of adults have at least had their first dose of the vaccine, meaning that adapting to COVID as a part of our daily lives is a manageable goal for the very near future. basic precautions and common sense will go a long way in protecting yourself, your staff and your customers.
The most immediate concern, that will carry on into how we adapt to the virus , is the increasing number of variants of the Covid virus. This includes the most recent strain to be detected in the UK, the Lambda Variant. The primary concern of this variant is the potential of increased transmissibility and the potential for an increased resistance to vaccines or anti-body treatments.
For now though, it appears that the vaccine has a neutralising impact to all known variants, but proceeding with caution should be the message transmitted on July 19th.
Impact on Hospitality and Events
If transmission rates improve, the announcement on July 19th will officially implement the following changes:
- Nightclubs will reopen.
- No more capacities for hospitality businesses.
- No more restrictions on opening hours.
- No limits for weddings, funerals, or events.
- Events such as concerts and sports will have no need for official Covid limits/requirements/certificates.
- Bars and Restaurants no longer have to do table service only.
If your business is part of the hospitality or events industry we recommend preparing for this positive outcome, though once again advise caution when it comes to your plans for PPE and sanitation.
To recap, If the Government is happy with the report on the 12th of July:
- Limits on social contact and gathering will be lifted.
- Distancing rules to be removed, aside for areas entering and exiting a building/venue.
- No legal requirement for face coverings
- Lifting of restrictions for hospitality and events
- Fully vaccinated people will not have to isolate when returning to the UK from amber countries.
With such drastic changes not yet set in stone, you can be forgiven for being unsure about what the next steps for your business are.
It's understood that this drastic change in restrictions around COVID-19 follows the successful correlation between a rise in vaccinations and a lowering of COVID related deaths and hospitalisations. We're hoping this marks a positive trend for how the UK will be affected by the virus going forward.
If your concerned about your current air ventilation, cleaning services or supply of sanitisation products you can get in touch with us here.
Stay tuned for the announcement on July 19th and we'll be sure to release a similar article when everything has been made official, with it should come even more information on how these changes will impact businesses. Follow us on Social Media for more up to date information.