CIEH welcomes a measured business reopening approach but calls for more involvement for environmental health practitioners

12 May 2020, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has welcomed the Government’s phased approach to the reopening of businesses and further clarity on the plan for the coming months.

However, it is clear businesses and employers will need support as they implement new guidance to ensure adequate controls are in place to protect their employees and the public. Building worker and consumer confidence is going to be a significant challenge. CIEH is keen for Government to recognise the role and skills of the environmental health workforce in ensuring businesses are adequately supported.

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) have a vital role in protecting the public through a range of enforcement and advice functions. They have taken the lead, adopting a proportionate and pragmatic approach to enforcing business restrictions and social distancing in the workplace. CIEH has been working hand in hand with all relevant officials, agencies, and government departments, to promote the vital contribution Environmental Health Practitioners are making on the ground.

Debbie Wood, CIEH Executive Director for Membership and External Affairs, said:

“We are encouraged that the Government has taken a phased and measured approach to business re-opening. However, while there are balances to be struck, we need to ensure that both employees returning to work and members of the public are protected as much as possible over the coming months so that a second peak can be avoided.

Environmental health practitioners have the expertise and skills to assist Government agencies and will be key to protecting people’s safety during this difficult time. Their professional voice must be heard and should help to inform Government guidance and advice to businesses and employers. This is particularly important for higher risk premises, such as beauty salons, where close contact cannot be avoided.

We look forward to continuing to work with government and public health agencies across the UK in shaping our nation’s efforts to combat COVID-19.”

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