To continue reading please register or login to your OHW+ account.
Unions and medical professionals have called for more clarity as the government plans to announce that requirements such as mask-wearing and social distancing will be removed from 19 July.
So-called “freedom day” was initially postponed for four weeks from 21 June but is now likely to go ahead, despite a rise in coronavirus infections in the UK.
The Prime Minister is expected to confirm today that remaining restrictions, including the rule of six for gatherings, capacity limits in cinemas and the advice to work from home where possible will be removed.
He is expected to say that people must “learn to live with the virus” and “exercise judgment” regarding whether they wish to wear masks.
But Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary of the TUC told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that members were uncomfortable with the emphasis on personal responsibility rather than clear guidance.
“There are potentially millions returning to the workplace who have not been to work for a year or more,” he said. “They want confidence that it is as Covid secure and safe as possible. I just don’t think it’s acceptable to simply outsource responsibility to individuals and individual employers – the government cannot wash its hands of the issues.”
Nowak said the government needed to clarify as soon as possible whether the advice to “work from home where possible” would change, so employers would have time to prepare and carry out risk assessments.
He added that asking people to make a personal choice about behaviours such as mask wearing and ventilation could become problematic.
“Sometimes personal choices can rub up against each othe