The government will carry out randomised spot checks on workplaces to ensure that they have adequate health protocols in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Boris Johnson said during the Downing Street press conference on Monday night.
The prime minister defended his party’s “stay alert” messaging, which has been criticised by some for being too vague.
The government is starting to ease lockdown measures against coronavirus gradually, but is still asking people to work from home where possible and to observe social distancing by keeping at least two metres apart.
But for those who are no longer able to work from home – Johnson acknowledged that some companies may find it harder than others to do their business remotely – the prime minister has suggested that they can return to their offices so long as they are deemed “Covid-secure”.
He attempted to clarify: “I want to be clear that, yes, in saying that saying people who can’t work from home should now go to work…We [the government] are absolutely categorical that workplaces, your workplace must be safe… it must be Covid-secure and employers will not be allowed to get away with forcing people to work in conditions that are not Covid-secure. If people find themselves in conditions that they think are unsafe, then they should immediately report it and we will take action, and that goes for all types of work.”
Johnson added: “We are not expecting this week, a huge change, we’re simply encouraging those, in sectors that we’ve outlined, who can’t work from home now, to talk to their employers and to go to work.”