With England entering lockdown conditions as of Tuesday 5 January and restrictions in place across the UK, we’ve put together a quick update for boiler installers and engineers about how the latest regulations affect your work.
In this blog, we’ll share advice from the Government about which jobs you can continue to do and how to carry out work safely in other people’s homes.
What is the Government Saying?
Guidance published by the UK government in November states that “where it is necessary to work in other people’s homes - for example... tradespeople - you can do so.” The latest guidance from Monday 4 January states “businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open… following COVID-19 secure guidelines”.
An open letter sent from Housing Minister Robert Jenrick to the Housing Industry in November stated “home repairs and maintenance can continue” in a COVID-secure way.
It’s worth saying again that this guidance applies specifically to England, where lockdown conditions are expected to be in place until at least mid-February because of rising COVID-19 cases.
Advice in Scotland
In Scotland, the country has been placed in lockdown as of Tuesday 5 January. The Scottish government’s guidance states that: ‘tradespeople should only go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services (including) gas safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations’.
Advice in Wales
In Wales, the country has been placed at alert level 4, which means ’work carried out in people’s homes... can continue as long as it is managed in a safe way and both the worker and household members are well and have no symptoms of coronavirus’. The Welsh government has also published its own document focused on guidance for working in other people’s homes.
Advice in Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, the country is currently in a six-week lockdown that began on 26 December 2020. The HSENI website has information on ‘Advice for Gas Engineers’ and confirms that ‘work can still be carried out in people’s homes where necessary, e.g. for reasons of safety, provided that the guidance on social distancing is followed’.
Sticking to COVID-Safe Guidelines
While tradespeople have been told that they should continue to work in others’ homes where it’s found to be necessary, it’s vital to remember the need to stick to COVID-19 secure guidelines. These rules include everything you’d expect, including maintaining a social distance of 2 metres from others wherever possible and wearing essential PPE including face coverings.
We highly recommend reading through the complete list of safety guidelines for working in other people’s homes, which are available on the Government website. It covers other important topics such as cleaning work areas, interacting with households and how to assess risk. We also need to take care when it comes to social distancing while travelling to and from jobs.
For further information on how to work as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, including checking if there are any vulnerable residents in a household or if anyone is displaying symptoms, take a look at our blog Covid-19: Guidance For Installers & Engineers from 2020.
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Updated Tuesday 5 January