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21st July 2021

Updated Covid Guidance – Step 4

England has moved into Step 4 of the roadmap on 19th July 2021, meaning legal restrictions have been lifted, and all businesses can reopen. The government official guidance to work from home also ends from this date.

It should be noted however that there remains a legal duty to assess and manage risks which includes Covid-19. In order to support businesses in this phase, new guidance has been recently produced to provide advice on precautions employers can take. The guidance is separated into the following 6 areas:-

  • Construction and outdoor work
  • Events and attractions
  • Hotels and guest accommodation
  • Office, factories and labs
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services
  • Shops, branches and close contact services

The main changes resulting from moving into Step 4 is that employers no longer need to implement social distancing within their business, the wearing of face masks ceases to be a legal requirement and the use of the Covid Secure notice has been withdrawn. The new guidance provides details of the following key areas to assist businesses in reviewing and updating their Covid-19 risk assessment:

  • controls to use after some restrictions are removed
  • other measures to help reduce workplace transmission
  • different approaches and timescales for removal of restrictions in Scotland and Wales

The revised guidance can be downloaded from – for any clients requiring assistance with reviewing and updating their risk assessment, please call the health and safety advice line on 0300 303 5228.

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The competent person role does not have to be fulfilled internally within every company. You can, therefore, outsource the appointment to a contractor or consultancy with the necessary qualifications and experience.

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