Over the last few days, the situation in the UK has radically changed. Following the Prime Minister’s announcements in the House of Commons on Tuesday, all sorts of small businesses must be prepared to reopen on 4thJuly.
Whilst, undoubtedly, this news will be triumphantly received by many small businesses, this is no simplistic return to a pre-COVID-19 economy. The key feature of this new phase is the change to the so-called “two-metre rule” – a measure which has become an unquestioned aspect of daily life for many. Now, Britons are only required to remain one metre apart. Such a rule is precisely designed to restart the economy. Many of the SMEs which are due to reopen, like hotels, restaurants, pubs, hairdressers, cinemas and theatres, all require a certain degree of proximity.
However, some have raised concerns. The main issue is that no matter how far people remain apart, the use of PPE remains by far the most effective behaviour in combatting infection. In this way, the reduction to one metre should not be read as an invitation to negligence. It is, on the contrary, more important than ever to generalise the use of PPE in public spaces.
Indeed, all of the new rules should be read in this way. There is still a risk – perhaps a more significant risk than is alleged by the government, according to some health-care professionals – that infection rates will increase once more. Now more than ever in this crisis, the British public are being trusted with the health of the nation. SMEs, especially, are being trusted. This is why, on the Lab Solutions blog, there are a number of short posts detailing the measures that SMEs can take to prevent infection. If you can over the next few days, take a moment to check them out.
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