Today marks 50 days in lockdown, but this week could see significant numbers return to work, after the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday.
While working at home is still preferable if at all possible, those that can not do so are encouraged to return to work this week. Companies are to ensure safe environments and employees are to maintain social distancing.
However, one of the key issues is not the workplace itself but the journey to and from. Nowhere is this more relevant than London, where public transport (underground/tubes or buses) service many people’s daily travel to and from work. With services still somewhat reduced, there are concerns about how coronavirus could spread in confined and potentially more crowded spaces.
As a London-based GP and healthcare company, we’ve compiled advice on the issue of returning to work and travel.
Health Advice for London Commuters
Avoid Public Transport If Possible
To reduce the potential spread of the virus, the government is advising that where possible, alternative forms of transport are preferable. That could mean driving, walking or cycling to work instead of catching the tube or bus.
Remember, if you can work at home, the advice is to continue to do so.
Advice for Public Transport Journeys
Those that have no alternative are encouraged to adapt as much as they can to reduce exposure:
- Start and end their journeys at less crowded stations -“walk a mile” to stay out of the busier areas
- Travel earlier or later than normal to avoid rush hour
- Continue social distancing as much as possible – choose quieter carriages and turn away from others
- Use contactless payment rather than cash
Wear Face Masks
In addition, the government has advised that people should now wear a face covering in enclosed spaces. Social distancing is not always possible on public transport and face coverings can protect others so that you are not passing the disease on without knowing it.
Experts have previously suggested that, in order for the use of masks to be an effective tool in reducing infections, around nine in 10 people need to wear them, so they’re going to be very much the norm.
Hand Washing & Sanitising
As lockdown eases back towards social distancing and the ‘new normal’, a reminder that being out and about more means that diligent hygiene must be maintained:
- Wash hands regularly and use sanitiser when required
- Avoid touching surfaces as much as possible
- Avoid physical contact with others – both on public transport and at work
- Change out of work clothes (and into the laundry basket) as soon as you get home
If you have symptoms of coronavirus then extra precautions still apply. You should stay at home if you are unwell with symptoms such as dry cough or high temperature and not leave for any reason for a 7 day isolation period.
If you are living with someone who has coronavirus, that triggers a 14 day isolation period for other members of the household.
Stopping the Spread
Following the Prime Minister’s broadcast from Downing Street on Sunday evening, London mayor Sadiq Khan added advice for those living and working in London, saying:
“I want to be as clear as possible with Londoners – social distancing measures are still in place.
“Lockdown hasn’t been lifted and we all still need to play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“You must still stay at home as much as possible and keep a safe two-metre distance from other people at all times when you are out. Everyone must continue to work from home if they possibly can.
“You must not use public transport for any unnecessary journeys. If you really have to travel, please avoid rush hour. Please walk or cycle whenever possible.
“We still have a long way to go to defeat this virus and we have not returned to life as it was before.”
The Smart Clinics
The Smart Clinics is best known for its unique membership based private GP service with access to a friendly team of experienced doctors, which entitles individuals, families and corporate members to unlimited GP access for a monthly fee. Private dentistry is also available as an optional extra.
For more information contact us on email@example.com or call 020 7052 0070.
Coronavirus Opening Arrangements
- Our Chelsea clinic on Hollywood Road is the ONLY clinic which is open at present.
- We are open for telephone consultations and emergency appointments only.
- Emergency appointments can only be booked after a GP or Dentist has confirmed it to be essential.
- Phone lines are open from 9am – 5pm.