Aycliffe MP answers some of the regular questions he’s receiving in his inbox from members of the public around work-related Covid-19 issues…
There has been some uncertainty about which businesses should or should not be open and I would like to give you some clarity on that.
We have a simple series of questions that hopefully answers your questions. If you work through the following five points you should reach a conclusion for your particular circumstances.
Do you have to stay at home for health reasons?
This may be because you are over 70, you are vulnerable e.g. with a pre-existing condition or in a high risk category or you’ve been exposed to someone and are self isolating or because you have system symptoms.
If you do not have to stay at home for health reasons then go to the next question.
Do you have to stay at home to look after your child?
Do you have children who need looking after at home by you? The exception is if you have a key worker role which are listed online. If you do not have to stay at home to look after your child then go to the next question
Can you do your job from home?
This is really important, you and your employer should make every possible effort to work from home. Government guidance says people can leave the house if travelling to and from work but only where this work cannot be done from home
Is your job at one of those businesses that has been told to close?
Some businesses and places of work have been told to close. These are typically ones that encourage people to gather together like restaurants, pubs and clubs and others where work is in close contact with people, for example hairdressers.
Some businesses have also closed due to their own economic situation.
Do you have working practices that allow you to observe social distancing at work?
Jobs like construction deliveries, warehouse work and others can often be carried out with sensible adjustment. For example, the Royal mail do not require people receiving packages to provide a signature.
Very many self employed people, trades, contractors, gardeners, taxi drivers etc may fall into this category and some manufacturers are adapting practices to enable safe working.
If you can maintain social distance at work then you can go to work, if you cannot maintain safe distance from people then you should stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
Paul Howell MP