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Operating safely 

Safe Trading Guidance
The HTA have produce Safe Trading Guidance for garden centres which are available here. 

Guidance from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

In England the Government have produced further guidance relevant for garden centres, landscapers working from people’s homes and on construction sites and nurseries (under ‘construction and other outside work’).  

The full guidance can be found here. 
5 key points 

This sets out practical steps for businesses focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical: 

1. Work from home, if you can 

All reasonable steps should be taken by employers to help people work from home. But for those who cannot work from home and whose workplace has not been told to close, our message is clear: you should go to work. Staff should speak to their employer about when their workplace will open. 

With more people now traveling to work with the re-opening of garden centres the Government have published guidance on safe traveling during coronavirus, which is available here.    

2. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions 

This guidance operates within current health and safety employment and equalities legislation and employers will need to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in consultation with their workers or trade unions, to establish what guidelines to put in place. If possible, employers should publish the results of their risk assessments on their website and we expect all businesses with over 50 employees to do so. 

The Health and Safety Executive have published a guide to help businesses carry out a coronavirus workplace assessment.   

3. Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible 

Employers should re-design workspaces to maintain 2 metre distances between people by staggering start times, creating one way walk-throughs, opening more entrances and exits, or changing seating layouts in break rooms. 

4. Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk 

Employers should look into putting barriers in shared spaces, creating workplace shift patterns or fixed teams minimising the number of people in contact with one another, or ensuring colleagues are facing away from each other. 

5. Reinforcing cleaning processes 

Workplaces should be cleaned more frequently, paying close attention to high-contact objects like door handles and keyboards. Employers should provide handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers at entry and exit points. 

Relaxation of GB drivers’ hours rules 

The GB drivers’ hours rules can be temporarily relaxed as follows: 

  • replacement of the GB duty time limit of 11 hours with 12 hours 

  • replacement of the GB daily driving time limit of 10 hours with 11 hours 

Drivers can only take advantage of this temporary relaxation 5 days in any 7-day period, and must take a rest period of 24 hours within the same 7-day period when taking advantage of this relaxation. 

The GB drivers’ hours relaxation applies from 00:01 on Monday 23 March 2020 until 23:59 on Sunday 14 June 2020. 

Guidance for furloughed drivers can be found on this link. 

Safer transport guidance for operators can be found here.  

Data protection

The ICO has published guidance on data protection during the pandemic. This will also be relevant to the implementation of Track and Trace systems. More information on how this affects your business can be found here.

International Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) 

If you are planning to travel abroad for buying and sourcing or other business visits then please make sure that you are aware of the latest travel restrictions. 

Avoid non-essential international travel 

You should not travel abroad unless it is essential. The Government are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping this advice under continuous review so that it reflects the latest assessment of risks to British people. Find out more about how their travel advice works

If you have travel plans in the immediate future, follow these steps: 

  • contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers 
  • get in touch with your insurance provider 

If you plan to travel in the weeks and months ahead, keep up-to-date with the Governments travel advice pages and sign up to email alerts for the latest information.  

You should also keep updated on information from your airline, accommodation provider or tour operator about your booking. 

Essential travel 
If your travel is essential, see the Government’s guidance on international travel, which includes a checklist to follow if you are traveling abroad.  

International freight transport is an essential activity in the context of travel advice. Read the Department for Transport guidance for the freight transport industry

When you return to the UK 

Read the guidance on safer air travel for advice on how to stay safe before and during a flight. 

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK. You must: 

See also the list of people who are exempt from the English border rules

For the latest information from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office please see here:  

British Retail Consortium (BRC) FAQs