Updated: Tuesday 12th January 2021
The newest strain of Coronavirus is causing chaos across the globe, and the United Kingdom is certainly no exception. As we now enter the third lockdown of this pandemic, we’re all trying to get to grips with the latest set of rules.
On January 5th 2021, the Prime Minister addressed the nation to announce new limits to try to keep people safe. This television announcement put the UK on lockdown once again, to help halt the spread of the virus.
While Boris Johnson offered hope with promises of a vaccination programme, he also made it clear that the NHS was nearing a breaking point. Since the hope is to have the most vulnerable vaccinated by mid-February, there is still a long way to go until life can get back to normal.
The rules laid out are similar to those from the March 2020 lockdown but with a few differences. The announcement details four specific reasons that people are allowed to leave their homes:
- Shop for food and other necessities
- Exercise once a day
- For medical requirements, such as to provide care
- Travel to and from work, where the work is essential and cannot be done from home.
These rules have caused some confusion among tradespeople, as they cannot 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 cannot work from home, but does that mean they can continue to work as normal? It has also been more confused by many people feeling discouraged from working during lockdown three, yet garden centres as still allowed to be open.
As it currently stands, gardeners can work, but only when it is safe to do so, and when social distancing is maintained. Gardeners must ensure they stay at least two metres away from all people, and where possible, avoid contact altogether. However, the advice for clinically vulnerable gardeners is to remain at home.
Most gardeners can 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 provide an excellent 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 lockdowns. This includes workers in the water sector. Plumbing and heating engineers are considered as key workers and can 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 three. 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, man electricians are questioning whether they can continue to work during the lockdown. Once again, electricians are key workers and can 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 go ahead in any household that is isolating or has an individual who is shielding. This is unless there is a direct risk to the household’s safety, 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 can still 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. Many cleaners are choosing not to work during the lockdown, due to the increased risk involved with being in people’s homes. This is especially true when recent studies show that one in three people who have Coronavirus show no symptoms.
However, there are no guidelines from the government advising against it. The guidelines simply state ‘when it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes, you can do so’.
How Can Tradespeople Stay Safe At Work?
The majority of tradespeople can continue working throughout the lockdown. However, there are some rules to follow. As well as 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, avoid contact and open as many windows as possible.
- 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. The government has extended most of the support offered during the earlier lockdowns as far as April 2021. This includes small business grants, business rates relief and the furlough scheme.