England’s third lockdown began on Wednesday 6th January 2021, and it is expected to last until beyond mid-February, with ‘stay at home’ guidance and the closure of non-essential businesses.
According to gov.uk however, there are still circumstances in which you can meet others from outside your household, childcare or support bubble in larger groups, but only for permitted purposes and this includes tradespeople, including electricians, plumbers, etc.
This means, ‘a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work’, official government guidance explains.
And hardware/DIY stores are deemed as ‘essential retailers’ so they have also remained open.
Previous advice during the first lockdown back in March allowed the fitting of new kitchens, redecorating, and other home improvement work which may involve tradespeople (builders, plumbers, electrician, roofer, landscaper, decorator etc), as long as safety measures were in place.
So, what are the rules for tradespeople?
Before any renovation takes place, it is important that tradespeople ensure they operate safely with strict social distancing measures, following guidance that has already been published.
In the first instance, tradespeople should contact the homeowner in advance to check that no member of the household is showing symptoms of coronavirus or self-isolating. Unless critically urgent, works should be delayed.
Tradespeople should also wash their hands on entering the property, minimise contact with homeowners and always remain 2 metres apart from householders. If more than one tradesperson is required, implementing a buddy system will ensure that the same people work together where needed. And, working materials, such as tools or domestic appliances, should be assigned to an individual and not shared if possible and should follow the following steps.
1) No work should be carried out in a household which is isolating because one or more family members has symptoms or where an individual has been advised to shield – unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household or to the public.
2) When working in a household where somebody is clinically vulnerable, but has not been asked to shield, for example, the home of someone over 70, prior arrangements should be made with vulnerable people to avoid any face-to-face contact, for example, when answering the door. You should be particularly strict about hand washing, coughing and sneezing hygiene, such as covering your nose and mouth and disposing of single-use tissues.
3) Wash your hands more often than usual for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose.
4) Reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue and throw the tissue in a bin immediately, then wash your hands.
5) Clean regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
6) Communicate with households prior to any visit to discuss how the work will be carried out to minimise risk for all parties.
7) Maintain social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) at all times, as far as possible.
8) Tradespeople should frequently clean objects and surfaces that are touched regularly and remove all waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift and at the end of a job.
9) The site should be limited to as few workers as possible and all should be practising safe social distancing measures (two-metre distance between each other).
10) The workers coming to the site will not be using public transport and will only arrive by car or van.
11) If the above cannot be sustained all works on site should be paused. The ongoing works should be reviewed to enable the above where possible.
12) Anyone showing even mild COVID-19 symptoms should not be on site and in line with government guidelines should remain at home for 14 days.
What should homeowners do?
If homeowners choose to proceed with important renovation works, they should communicate clearly with tradespeople about social distancing and safety guidance before they enter the home. Households should leave all internal doors open for tradespeople to minimise contact with door handles, and they should identify busy areas in the home where people travel to, from or through, for example, stairs and corridors, and minimise movement within these areas.
So, don’t delay, call Panelven Kitchens today for your free virtual design appointment