The current outbreak of Coronavirus is causing chaos across the globe, and the United Kingdom is no exception. With the virus declared an official pandemic, the government took dramatic steps to help protect the nation.
In March 2020, the Prime Minister addressed the nation to announce new limits to try to keep people safe. This television announcement has put the UK on a lockdown to help halt the spread of the virus. Furthermore, these new measures are some of the most draconian that the UK has seen.
While Mr. Johnson avoided using the word “lockdown” during his speech, he described the outbreak as a national emergency. The new measures are designed to try to stop the spread of COVID-19. The announcement details four specific reasons that people are allowed to leave their homes;
- Shop for food and other basic necessities.
- Exercise once a day both alone or with other members of the same household.
- For medical requirements, such as to provide care.
- Travel to and from work, where the work is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
These rules have caused some confusion among tradespeople, as they are unable to work from their own homes. So what does the lockdown mean for these small businesses? If you are a tradesperson wondering if you can still work during the Coronavirus lockdown, then read on!
Can Gardeners Work During Lockdown?
There are many self-employed gardeners out there left confused by the government guidance. A gardener is unable to work from home, but does that mean they can continue to work as normal?
As it currently stands, gardeners are able to work, but only when it is safe to do so, and when social distancing is being maintained. Gardeners must ensure they stay at least two metres away from all people, and where possible, avoid contact altogether.
Most gardeners are able to carry on with their daily jobs without contact with their customers, as they can work outside and alone. The government has encouraged self-employed gardeners to continue working, as long as it is safe to do so because they are providing a good service to the community.
Can Plumbers Continue Their Job During Lockdown?
The government has set out a list of keyworkers that can continue to work during the COVID-19 lockdown. This includes workers in the water sector. Plumbing and heating engineers are considered as key workers and are able to continue their jobs throughout the pandemic.
Work can take place in customers’ homes and other premises, as long as it’s possible to maintain social distancing. The tradesperson must also not be experiencing any symptoms. Many self-employed plumbers are making the decision only to offer emergency call-out services during the lockdown period. This is to protect themselves, their families and their customers from coming into contact with Coronavirus.
Can Electricians Cary Out Work During The Coronavirus Lockdown?
Similarly to plumbers, many electricians are questioning whether they can continue to work during the lockdown. Once again, electricians are key workers and are able to carry on their work. This is as long as appropriate measures are in place. This includes social distancing by keeping at least two metres away from other people, and not completing any work if the tradesperson is experiencing symptoms.
Government advice states that no work should be go ahead in any household that is isolating or that has an individual that is shielding. This is unless there is a direct risk to the safety of the household, in which case emergency works can go ahead.
Can Cleaners Continue To Work In Homes During The Lockdown?
There are a huge number of employed and self-employed cleaners across the country, with many wondering if it is still safe to do their jobs. Cleaners are essential for many households, particularly the elderly, but is it safe for them to enter the home and work? As with other trades, cleaners are still able to go to work as long as it is safe to do so.
All work must take place with at least two metres distance from others, with appropriate protective equipment. A large number of cleaners are choosing not to work during the lockdown, due to the increased risk involved with being in people’s homes. However, there are no guidelines from the government advising against it.
How Can Tradespeople Stay Safe At Work?
The majority of tradespeople are able to continue working throughout the lockdown. However, there are some rules to follow. As well as the government guidance, there are also some fieldworkers tips and best practices that can be followed to help keep everyone safe;
- Keep at least two metres distance between all people that are not a part of your household.
- Avoid public transport where possible and only travel using your own vehicle.
- If you or anyone in your household has symptoms, you should not work and self-isolate for 14 days.
- When in a customer’s home, act as if everyone in the household has Coronavirus. Try to touch as little as possible and avoid contact.
- If you have any pre-existing health conditions, avoid work and self-isolate.
- Do not carry out any work for a customer that is showing symptoms or self-isolating due to Coronavirus.
- Do not carry out any work for anyone who is shielding because of Coronavirus.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds. Always wash your hands immediately after arriving home after work.
- Clean your work area thoroughly before and after undertaking work.
- Thoroughly clean all your equipment and tools that have been in a customer’s home.
- Avoid touching your face and dispose of all tissues immediately after use.
- Where possible, where protective equipment such as disposable gloves and a face mask.
- Ask customers to make payments using online methods as opposed to cash, to avoid spreading Coronavirus.
- For more tips on how to keep you and your team safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, read our Coronavirus blog posts on staying safe here.
Remember, if you cannot work during the lockdown, there is support available from the government. This includes deferring your tax bill, cash grants and a job retention scheme for workers. You can find out more about the financial support available to you in our Coronavirus Support For Tradespeople blog post. Also see our summary on the new rules issued on week commencing 11th May 2020 on how to safely get back to work.
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