1. Overview

Social distancing means keeping people apart to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Where possible, you should keep people 2 m apart. If this is not possible, consider additional control measures.

In the UK some rules about social distancing may be different in each of the devolved nations. However, HSE regulates in all of these countries. You should check the public health guidance for the country you are in:

You must ensure that workers and other people visiting your workplace understand and comply with the measures you put in place.

Social distancing should form part of your business’s risk assessment and is one of the steps needed to make your workplace COVID-secure.

The GOV.UK guides on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) explain the control measures that different types of business should consider. These cover construction, factories, offices, vehicle use and other types of work. The guides apply to workplaces in England.

Some of the measures you can put in place to maintain social distancing include:

  • using floor tape or paint to mark work areas
  • providing signage to remind people to keep a 2 m distance
  • having people working side-by-side rather than face-to-face
  • limiting movement of people:
    • rotating between jobs and equipment
    • using lifts and work vehicles
    • in high-traffic areas like corridors, turnstiles and walkways
    • allow only essential trips within buildings and between sites

These web pages explain the control measures you can use for different work areas and activities and the additional measures you can use where social distancing is not possible.

Updated 2020-09-15