Boris Johnson to announce deconfinement plan next Sunday
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    Boris Johnson to announce deconfinement plan next Sunday

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    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce a progressive deconfinement plan next Sunday, British media report on Monday.

    The government is considering closing company canteens, reducing the number of shared offices and adding clean-ups among other options to allow companies to resume their activities, according to the BBC and the Financial Times.

    Employees in contact with the public should be protected by plastic screens, and working from home will continue to be encouraged for those who can, according to the recommendations. Those who must commute to work are encouraged to do so in staggered schedules to avoid crowded subways and commuter trains.

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    Companies will have to do a “risk assessment” before they can welcome their employees back, the government’s deconfinement documents suggest.

    If the recommended two-meter distance between workers cannot be met, the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be considered. This raises questions from contractors. A “clear recommendation” is needed, said Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce, Adam Marshall, to the BBC on Monday.

    With 28,446 deaths, the United Kingdom is the second most affected country in Europe by the new coronavirus (Covid-19). The UK’s lockdown was decreed on 23 March and extended until Thursday, when it will be reassessed.

    Meanwhile, on Belgium’s first day phasing out of lockdown, the country has reached a total count of 50,267 confirmed cases, while 7,924 Belgians have lost their lives to the virus.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times