It Has Been One Year Since the Beginning of the First COVID-19 Lockdown

This time last year we entered the first national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, today we reflect on the toll that this has taken over the last 12 months, one of the most challenging periods for generations.

As we begin to look forward with hope of a brighter future, we must remain vigilant of the risks. It is just as important today, as the Government considers the easing of lockdown restrictions, that employers and businesses ensure they are implementing the right controls to stop the spread of COVID-19, as it was on this day a year ago.

At the start of March, we saw schools return, the first stage of the Roadmap to recovery, and on 12 April the Roadmap, subject to agreement, will allow a host of sectors to reopen, including non-essential retail, personal care premises, most outdoor attractions and settings, indoor leisure facilities, and hospitality venues.

As these steps towards a more positive future are taken it is more important than ever to ensure we are all contributing to a safe recovery, and we adopt renewed vigour at this critical junction.

Businesses need to continue to manage the risk of coronavirus by having COVID-secure measures in place and to make sure workers are following them.

The HSE will be working with local authorities to carry out spot checks and inspections on HSE and local authority regulated businesses to check the measures they have in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

It is vitally important that workplaces are constantly revisiting the control measures they have in place and that workers continue to modify their behaviours to reduce transmission of the virus in the workplace.

The HSE is reminding businesses of the important steps to take to keep workers safe:

  • Revisit your risk assessment – all businesses must continue to update their COVID-secure risk assessments to make sure they’re in line with the latest government guidance
  • Renewed vigour – review the measures you have put in place and make sure they are still effective including cleaning regimes, hand washing and social distancing
  • Ventilation – take simple steps to improve airflow in enclosed spaces as good ventilation helps to reduce how much virus is in the air
  • Follow the roadmap out of lockdown – as your business re-opens it’s your responsibility to have COVID-secure measures in place
  • Reduced infection rates should not equate to complacency. COVID-secure measures must be prioritised to stop the spread of coronavirus to maintain the safety of their staff, visitors and customers