Ventilation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Latest advice on keeping workplaces safe from COVID-19

This page is up to date with working safely guidance in England. You can check the most up to date measures on GOV.UK. There are different regulations and guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The latest advice on continuing to keep workplaces safe will help you assess the risks and reduce COVID-19 transmission. This includes links to advice from public health bodies and other government departments on measures not implemented by HSE.

1. Overview

The law says employers must make sure there’s an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) in enclosed areas of the workplace. This has not changed during the pandemic.

This guidance will help you and your workers:

Why ventilation is important

Someone who has coronavirus breathes out small particles (aerosols) of the virus.

Adequate ventilation reduces how much virus is in the air, so it reduces the risk of breathing in the virus.

Our guide on how ventilation helps you reduce the spread of COVID-19 summarises the main actions you should take.

Video on using ventilation to tackle COVID-19

The following video gives basic advice on how you can use ventilation to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your workplace.

What to do in addition to ventilation

Although ventilation is important it doesn’t reduce:

  • droplet transmission (from people being in close contact)
  • contact transmission (touching surfaces)

You should still make sure you are working safely by:

  • keeping your workplace clean¬†
  • ensuring that workers and others are washing their hands frequently

You can identify other control measures through your risk assessment.

We review and update this page regularly to reflect any changes in guidance.

Page last reviewed: 19 January 2022

Next review due: 30 January 2022

Updated 2021-12-09