Going to work

The single most important action we can take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should not leave the house unless you are travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or if you are shopping for basic necessities, getting one form of exercise a day or for any medical need or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person.

Businesses and workplaces should be encouraging their employees to work at home wherever possible, and employees from defined vulnerable groups should be strongly advised and supported to stay at home and work from there if possible.

We know the disruption this is causing and will do to people’s lives and to their jobs – and that’s why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business.

The government has set out a Plan for People’s Jobs and Incomes to protect jobs, offer more generous support to those without jobs, strengthen the safety net for the self-employed and help people to stay in their homes. This includes helping pay people’s wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – offering grants to employers who promise to retain their staff, covering most of the cost of paying people’s wages.

We have also made it easier for workers to obtain an isolation note, which can be used as evidence for their employer if they have to take more than 7 days off work. Workers can now obtain an isolation note through the NHS website and NHS 111 online, and then emailed to the user.

As you can appreciate, this is a fast-moving situation. I would strongly advise you to check the Government website, at gov.uk/coronavirus for further information.