A new protocol for returning to the workplace includes provisions such as a no-handshake policy and contact logs to facilitate contact tracing.
The 'Return to Work Safely Protocol', which has been seen by RTE, also states that employees will need to fill out a 'pre-return to work form' to confirm that they have not been in potential contact with coronavirus.
Each workplace will be required to appoint a 'lead worker representative' who will work with the employer to ensure that health measures are being strictly adhered to.
At breaktimes, workers will be placed into teams who consistently work and take breaks together, 'with each team being as small as is reasonably practicable in the context of the work to be done'.
Essential face-to-face meetings should be kept as short as possible and 'gatherings of workers at the beginning and end of shifts must be prevented'. The protocol also states that 'remote working should be encouraged' and 'at-risk vulnerable workers must be "preferentially supported" to maintain physical distancing, and where possible, supported to work from home.'
According to the current government roadmap, workplaces that involve 'low interaction work' are scheduled to reopen in phase 3 (June 29) with a 'return to work where employess cannot remotely work' to follow in phase 4 (July 20).