Within your risk assessment, consider the size of the office space available and work out how many staff can safely social distance while at their desks. It may be necessary to move desks so colleagues are back to back or side by side rather than facing each other to ensure a safer office working environment.
Within the majority of offices, the space available is likely to be much less than usual. This can be overcome by office staff working at home and attending the office on a rota basis to reduce the number of people in the office at any one time to ensure social distancing is maintained.
Ensure all office staff has designated desks and avoid ‘hot-desking’ if at all possible to reduce the risks further.
Reduce face-to-face meetings and encourage calls or video conferences to avoid in-person meetings with external contacts or colleagues outside someone’s immediate team.
Currently, the government has no plans to make people wear face masks in offices, with the most recent advice being that office workers should work at home where possible.
Banks, building societies, estate agents, and post offices fall under the same rules as retail shops for wearing masks when facing customers.
If your company has dealings with the public you should wear face masks in office areas that are open to the public and where you come in close contact with the public.
People are also being encouraged to wear a face-covering or face mask in other enclosed public spaces if social distancing is difficult.
There are several categories and reasons which make it exempt to wear a face mask. Firstly, children under the age of 11 do not have to wear a face mask.
Also, people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability are also exempt, as are police officers, and other emergency workers.
If you are helping someone who relies on lip-reading, again you don’t have to wear a face covering.
To avoid confusion, those that are exempt can wear an exemption card or badge, and it should be noted that no one who is exempt from wearing a face-covering should be denied entry if they are not wearing one.
*All information on this page should be used as basic guidance only, you must refer to the Government Guidelines for up to date information.