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Businesses urged to adhere to safe working guidelines

The following is released on behalf of the multi-agency Cumbria Strategic Co-ordination Group.

Businesses in Cumbria are being urged to follow Government advice around safe working to ensure that both the county’s workforce and economy are offered protection during the current Coronavirus outbreak.

The multi-agency Cumbria Strategic Co-ordination Group, which is managing the county’s response to COVID-19, is reminding the public that not all businesses need to close under current guidance, providing that they are operating safely in line with social distancing guidelines.

Jo Lappin, Chair of the Local Resilience Forum’s Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) and Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership said: “In these unprecedented times, it is vitally important that we pull together as a community to support each other.

“An important part of this is keeping our businesses operating as much as we can, given that our future economic and financial wellbeing is dependent on this.

“It is important that we are all operating in line with national guidance and government has made clear that where businesses can continue to operate it is important that they do.

“We have excellent examples of businesses that have changed their systems and processes to ensure that they are putting the safety of their people at the heart of their operations, genuinely looking for the workplace to be the safest place for their workforce.”

Those businesses which have been told to close are in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with the details provided at:

Detailed Government advice regarding safe working for all other businesses is located at: and Frequently Asked Questions at:

Employers and employees are encouraged to discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

The guidance continues: “If you cannot work from home then you can still travel for work purposes, provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

“Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines at:, including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).”

Chair of the Cumbria Strategic Co-ordination Group, Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, said: “It is clear that businesses locally have responded to the challenges that we all face and a great deal of work has been done to protect the health and well-being of employees and the public.

“Many businesses are critical to maintaining manufacturing supply chains providing the food, medicine and medical supplies that we all need and to keep utilities functioning. The Government has only mandated the closure of certain sectors of business, notably in the hospitality and retail sectors while other sectors continue to operate in line with social distancing guidance.

“I am heartened to see local businesses adapting to the current situation and, where appropriate, finding ways to continue to operate in these difficult times. It is critical that businesses play their part in minimising the spread of the virus and thereby protecting the NHS.

“The Strategic Coordinating Group is committed to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on society and the economy of Cumbria and to plan for recovery.”

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