Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 9

In my Update 9, yesterday evening, I advised you that the  Prime Minister had announced   “Travelling to and from work [is permitted], but only where it is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home”.

It was not clear whether the work had to be necessary, or whether the travel to get there had to be necessary.

The government now published a document entitled Full guidance on staying at home and away from others.  That guidance said “Travelling to and from work [is permitted], but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.”  The guidance can be found at Staying at home and away from others Guidance

This suggests that the work did not need to be ‘necessary’, merely that it ‘absolutely cannot’ be done from home.

This has been later contradicted by the government tweet saying: “The only reasons you may leave home [are]: … to go to work (if you’re a key worker)”

That, again, suggested that the work had to be necessary, ie only a key worker should work.

Finally, the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, tweeted: ” Have now spoken to No10 & had it confirmed that people CAN leave home to work – as long as they fully observe the 2m distancing rule.”

At the moment the advice would appear to be that anyone can go to work provided their work cannot be done from home.

Yesterday, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 were laid before parliament, implementing Friday’s closure of bars, pubs and restaurants.  I suspect today we will see Regulations laid implementing last night’s announcement, which will make the position clear.

If you have any particular queries please do not hesitate to contact David Scott.