Use ‘extreme caution’ after Covid restrictions lifted, BiKBBI urges installers

With England due to remove almost all Covid restrictions from July 19, the BiKBBI has urged the industry to proceed with “extreme caution” and has issued new guidelines for tradespeople.

Talking today to the BBC, Damian Walters (pictured), chief executive of the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom Installation, urged tradespeople “not to fall foul of the changes next week” and echoed the Prime Minister’s advice to exercise caution after unlocking.

“This pandemic is not over,” warned Walters. “We’re all keen to banish Covid to the history books, but we’ll only be able to achieve this if we’re sensible about the next few weeks and months.”

Work in domestic and commercial settings, said the BiKBBI, would remain largely unaffected by the changes. The Government is expected to issue new guidelines to tradespeople over the coming days. To help prepare for the changes, the BiKBBI has issued updated guidelines for tradespeople, including the continued wearing of face masks when working with others in confined spaces.

The new advice to its members is as follows:

Personal responsibility and common sense is advised. The virus remains on the rise in the UK and the pandemic is not over. We all have a responsibility to apply common sense and we should all remain conscious of the risk.

Pre-arrival contact with customers to confirm health status remains. Presence of symptoms should halt the project and government advice sought on isolation. Where a positive test for any party is present, isolation must be adopted in accordance with NHS guidance.

Social distancing should be adopted where possible. Avoidance of personal contact, including handshaking, should be considered. If travelling in close contact with others, for instance in vans, we recommend masks are used and windows are opened.

The wearing of masks becomes a personal choice in England, but the BiKBBI recommends that when in close contact with co-workers and customers, masks are worn when on premises.

Regular sanitisation of hands and surfaces remain unchanged. Priority should be given to the thorough sanitisation of hands and workspaces, including tools – especially shared tools and spaces.

No sharing of food and drink, to include use of customer facilities. Tradespeople should make provision for refreshment away from the customer’s property.

Ventilation of working environments is important and all areas of work should be well ventilated with fresh air from outside. Avoid the use of fans or heaters in confined spaces.

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