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Further guidance on social distancing for employers and workers

The Government has issued further guidance on keeping the public safe while working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following a statement to the country by the Prime Minister on Monday 23 March the UK is now entering a period of increased restriction on everyday life and business activity.

Observing this guidance is essential to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Keeping your distance from others and staying home will help protect the NHS and save lives.

To support business and individuals meet Government guidance the Government has released further advice on staying at home and away from others as well as further guidance for business premises that have been asked to close. A downloadable PDF of the guidance to businesses can be found here.

Business closures and other elements of the guidance are enforceable by law, with only a limited number of exemptions outlined in the guidance.

Many businesses however will want to know under what circumstances workers can leave their homes to engage in work where it may be classed as essential. The Government guidance above provides details of this, however, please see some select extracts below.

In all circumstances employers and businesses must follow Public Health Guidelines.

Carrying out work in other people’s homes

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.

Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has Coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Takeaway and delivery facilities

Takeaway and delivery services should remain open and operational. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.

Businesses are encouraged to take orders online or by telephone, and businesses should not provide seating areas, indoors and outdoors, for customers to consume food and drink on. Ordering in advance is strongly encouraged to avoid waiting in, as per Public Health England guidelines.

Planning regulation has been changed to enable restaurants, cafés and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so. The legislation can be accessed online.

People must not consume food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafés or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food.

Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their licence does not already permit.

techUK will continue to provide updates when new Government guidance becomes available, please visit our COVID-19 Information Hub for further details and also reach out to us at


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