Working safely during coronavirus

Keeping the workplace safe

Where workplaces are allowed to be open and staff cannot work from home, it's important for everyone to:

  • only travel where essential and try to avoid public transport at busy times
  • wear a face covering or mask where required (unless exempt)
  • keep at a distance from others wherever possible
  • wash hands or use hand sanitiser regularly

You must not go to work if you or anyone in your household has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus. See coronavirus symptoms guidance from the NHS.

Follow workplace safety guidelines

To keep the workplace safe, employers and staff must follow the government guidelines for their type of work:

Face coverings and masks

Wearing face coverings or masks may be required in workplaces. Some people can be exempt from wearing one, for example for health reasons.

See government guidelines for:

Social distancing at work

Social distancing means keeping people apart to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Where possible, people should stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart. If this is not possible, the employer should consider extra changes to keep people safe. This might include:

  • working side by side instead of face to face
  • using screens or barriers to separate people

What employers must do

By law, employers have a 'duty of care' for staff, customers and anyone else who visits the workplace.

Employers must:

  • do all they reasonably can to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of people at work
  • complete a risk assessment, and take reasonable steps to prevent harm
  • consult staff on any decisions that involve health and safety

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides advice on:

Last reviewed