The following is based on a circular SAFed have sent to their members undertaking thorough examination work which is relevant to LEIA members undertaking maintenance. We are very grateful to SAFed for sharing this with us.
In the first National lockdown a number of issues were created when client sites closed, and that subsequent access was not possible or wanted to conduct the needed inspections.
Recent feedback is that where sites are closed, clients are recognising the need to ensure access is provided in order to allow inspections to continue. However, given the new restrictions include ordering businesses to close again, SAFed have worked with BEIS to ensure that the guidance includes wording that does not preclude entrance to such premises given earlier confusion.
SAFed have also stayed informed of the other devolved administrations and some points are included below with respect to ensuring continued work of our members.
For England, new national restrictions were introduced on Thursday 5th November. The entire guidance is available via the link, and particular statements are presented below that were included to encourage businesses to continue the work needed to ensure compliance and readiness for re-opening.
In Section 2. Retail:
All premises, whether or not required to close, can be accessed by the site owners or managers, staff or people authorised by them for the purpose of maintenance, repairs or other work to ensure readiness to reopen at a point where this is permitted, such as receiving deliveries of supplies.
In Section 4. Operating in a COVID-Secure Manner:
Please see links to sector-specific guidance on ensuring businesses and venues permitted to open can operate safely, and so that businesses and venues that are closed can prepare to reopen safely when legally permitted to do so.
In Section 6. Compliance and enforcement:
An owner, proprietor or manager carrying out a business (or a person responsible for other premises) who fails to fulfill the obligations placed on them in law, without reasonable excuse, commits an offence.
Albeit the lockdown in Wales concludes on Monday 9th November there is a statement within their guidance as follows:
Closure of businesses and premises: coronavirus (COVID 19)
Maintenance of premises
All services on this list, whether or not required to close, can be accessed by the site owners or managers, or people authorised by them, for the purpose of maintenance, repairs or other work to ensure readiness to reopen at a point where this is permitted.