New national lockdown restrictions do not restrict fire safety work

National lockdown for England begins today (05/01/2021)

With the announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday evening (04/01/2021), a national lockdown is now in effect until further notice.

New coronavirus lockdown guidance has been issued for “people who are fit and well”. It is advised “you must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a reasonable excuse”. The guidance clearly states that a “reasonable excuse” includes working “where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance.” Later in the document it repeats this in the going to work section:

“You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home. Where people cannot work from home - including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing - they should continue to travel to their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers.” The guidance does however state that “approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.” BAFE continue to advise to follow Government guidance with addition of the World Health Organisation (WHO) advice. In September 2020, the WHO said, “taking a face covering on and off can also risk contamination”. When on-site, it is recommended to always wear a mask (covering your mouth, nose, and chin) to protect everyone and limit transmission of the virus.

Fire safety personnel continue to remain Key Workers

In March 2020 Ian Moore, CEO of the Fire Industry Association, was informed by James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Security at the Home Office, that “security & fire safety personnel can play a vital role at this time of national challenge. People working in these sectors who are essential to national infrastructure are “Key Workers” for the purposes of the Government’s guidance on COVID-19.”

As BAFE noted in September 2020, this categorically has not changed, and fire safety legislation continues to be enforced. We continue to prompt all BAFE Registered Companies that they should be in contact with their clients to remind them of their legal obligations in the interest of life safety.

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