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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business briefing – 15 May 2020

Work continues despite COVID-19 to manage flood and coastal risk
The Environment Agency has pledged to continue with vital works which protect coastal defences and food production during COVID-19.

It has issued a statement (click here to view) that its flood defence work continues in line with PHE guidance in addition to its operation of flood and coastal defences to ensure they protect people and property from flooding. It says it is also maintaining assets that support public water supply, industry, infrastructure, food production and the environment.

It will also continue to carry inspections and repairs to flood defences damaged by spring storms, prioritising work that has the most impact in terms of protecting lives and livelihoods, including prioritising the most at-risk communities so they can remain resilient.

It reports that in line with the latest government guidance, restrictions on angling have been eased since Wednesday, alongside non-powered water sports like kayaking and rowing. Boat owners may also now visit their moored boats to make sure they are well-maintained provided they follow social distancing rules. It added that its officers are working to help people get back on the country’s waterways from June. However, it requests that for the next few weeks, boaters should stick to only necessary journeys on Environment Agency waterways, such as to access essential services and facilities. People should not self-isolate on their vessels unless their boat is their primary residence.

Additional updates and guidance

Coronavirus Business Support Blog
The Coronavirus Business Support Blog (click here to view) from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is where you can find out how other businesses have used government support schemes and working safely guidance.  There are currently a number of new case studies from businesses, including Aston Martin (click here) and KFC (click here), which detail how they have been making their workplaces COVID-secure.

Charter for safe working practice
A Charter, co-produced by the Government and the Home Building Federation, committing signatories to safe working whilst COVID-19 remains prevalent, is available to view here.

Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care
This guidance explains the principles of infection prevention and control to enable safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here.

Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) coronavirus guidance for business and local authorities
Click here to view an update with guidance for businesses on hand sanitisers, with an additional link to a technical specification for hand wash from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Critical workers who can access schools or educational settings
Click here
 to view an update to reflect that children of critical workers are encouraged to attend school, and to reflect plans for wider opening of schools from 1 June 2020, at the earliest. Updated information defining vulnerable children, in line with existing guidance, for the purpose of continued education.

Actions for Further Education colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak
Updated guidance for further education has been provided for further information, to help plan for wider opening, including what to consider and steps to take when planning increased attendance is available here. Other updates include vulnerable young people, safeguarding and mental health support.

Forestry Commission operational update: coronavirus
This update provides details on the Forestry Commission’s working practices during the coronavirus outbreak – click here.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak have been updated. This guidance applies in England. Click here to view.

SELEP Coronavirus Business Recovery survey

Click here to take part in our Coronavirus Business Recovery Survey to let us know how you are preparing your business for the next phase in socially distanced and COVID-secure enterprise.