In these challenging times, it is easy to let everything feel like a threat. Last week we talked about contact with the unsung heroes – our frontline workers: plumbers, electricians, boiler repair services and other essential traders. At the time of publishing, the government advice specifies that traders can work in people’s homes as long as they do not have any symptoms, and haven’t had symptoms for the last two weeks.
If people are self-isolating or shielding because they have been advised by the government that they are vulnerable, traders are advised to avoid doing work in homes unless the task is emergency work required for the safety of the household (e.g. gas, electricity, plumbing). Even in these instances, traders are able to decline work if they feel that they are putting their health, or the health of their household, at risk. With this in mind, this week we will cover how you can help to keep everyone safe with a few practical tips.
Before they arrive
Before your trader arrives, you can help them by minimising the time that they spend in your home by doing what you can beforehand. For example, if they are coming to look at a leak in the cupboard under the sink, you can help by emptying the cupboard first. If they may need to move furniture out of the way to get to what they need to see, move it for them beforehand; this will reduce their contact with different items as well as time in your home.
Feel free to ask your trader if they have their own gloves and hand sanitiser; if they don’t, you can get some for them to use. Likewise, you could help reduce transmission by using disposable cups.
Half an hour before your trader is due, wipe down all the surfaces that they are likely to touch using disinfectant; put their mind at rest by letting them know the measures that you have taken.
When they leave
Regardless of whether or not your trader is coming back the next day, as soon as they leave, make sure that you thoroughly disinfect anything that they could have come in contact with.
If anybody in your household develops any virus symptoms within the two week period following your trader’s visit, make sure that you do them the courtesy of letting them know. Likewise, clarify with your trader that you would like them to let you know if they or anyone in their household develops symptoms.
These are certainly challenging times, but if people are sensible and respectful, we are confident that our reliable, trusted traders will be able to keep your homes running smoothly even in these adverse conditions. What’s more, when this is over, we will continue to celebrate our trusted, local traders and keep them busy with all the jobs we couldn’t ask them to do during this period!