BUSINESS leaders in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are demanding clarity from the Government about the plan of the return to work.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a televised message on Sunday evening that people should start returning to work this week, but details were limited.

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Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said businesses and employees must have enough time and plans in place in order to return to work in a safe and controlled manner.

The government are due to discuss the latest changes to the coronavirus lockdown in parliament today (Monday) and further details are expected to be released following the session.

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Sharon Smith, chief executive officer of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said: “We are urging the government to provide business and employers with further advice and guidance following the briefing last night.

“Businesses need sufficient time, support and plans in place to ensure that they can provide a safe and secure working environment that protects not only it’s staff and customers but also wider public health.

“It has been made clear that businesses who can continue to work from home, should continue to do so, and that we must stay at home as much as possible.

“We welcome news that businesses are urged to begin to restart, however, we need to do this in a controlled way with clear guidance in order to protect not only people’s lives but also their livelihoods.”

Advice to firms from the chamber of commerce is to follow messages from the Government, which at the minute

British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said: “Businesses share the Prime Minister's ambition to see more people return safely to work over the coming weeks.

“Companies will do everything they can to protect employees and customers, maintain social distancing and operate successfully as more sections of the economy are permitted to re-open.

“Businesses will need to see detailed plans for the phased easing of restrictions, coordinated with all nations across the UK and supported by clear guidance. It is imperative that companies have detailed advice on what will need to change in the workplace, including clarity on the use of PPE.

“Firms will also need to know that government support schemes, which have helped save millions of jobs in recent weeks, will continue for as long as they are needed so that they can plan ahead with confidence.

“The timing of further easing of restrictions must be guided by the public health evidence, but businesses need their practical questions answered so they can plan to restart, rebuild and renew.”

Away from business, Boris Johnson also said that there would be a change in guidelines allowing unlimited outdoor exercise which will come into force on Wednesday.

The changes in guidelines will also allow two people from different households to meet in a park if they stay two metres apart.