Tier 4 restrictions introduced for London and the South East: How does this affect the workplace?
London and most of the southeast are now under Tier 4 restrictions. The new Tier was added after a rapid increase in infection rates in these areas, thought to be due to a new strain of the coronavirus.
More businesses must close
The additional restrictions mean many businesses previously allowed to remain open under Tier 3 restrictions have now had to close. These include non-essential retail (except for click and collect), close contact services (including hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons) and indoor leisure and sport facilities (including gyms).
Going to work
The guidance for going to work remains the same, except for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Everyone who can work effectively from home should do so, but where they can’t, they should continue to travel to their workplace. Workplaces that remain open should follow the Working safely during coronavirus guidance and extra consideration should be given to those who are at higher risk. The restrictions on meeting others from outside a person’s household do not apply to work. Similarly, the restrictions on travelling out of a Tier 4 area do not apply to travel to work, where working from home is not possible. International travel is still permitted for work purposes but some countries have imposed restrictions on travel from the UK in any event.
Change to guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable changes
The Tier 4 guidance advises that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should work from home but if they can't work from home they should not go to work. The shielding letter sent to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable says this advice applies until 18 January, even if the area is placed into a different tier before then. If the advice is to continue beyond 18 January, the Government will write again with further information.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable may be eligible for the coronavirus job retention scheme, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit.
Click here to see the Tier 4 Stay at Home guidance
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