Working in partnership with TFGM and GMCA, the Growth Company has launched Safely Reopening GM, a co-ordinated and aligned awareness campaign designed to ensure that employers and employees in Greater Manchester can access information they need to support the safe return to work as the economy starts to reopen. The campaign is part of the broader #SafeGM initiative to boost confidence and put safety first.
Where home working isn’t possible, Safely Reopening GM will provide advice enabling employers to support staff in commuting and working safely.
Where homeworking is not possible, businesses and workers are being encouraged to:
- Only use public transport if necessary – walk, cycle or drive instead
- Get ready for mandatory face coverings on public transport from June 15
To help with the return to work, a series of changes are being introduced across the transport network, including:
- Increased Metrolink frequency – with services running every 10 minutes – from June 22
- Hand sanitiser dispensers placed at bus stations and interchanges by mid-June and assessing further roll out at key Metrolink stops
- Discounted travel for people working more flexibly and travelling less often
- Delivery of up to 200km of new, emergency active travel protected routes, traffic calming measures and increasing access to bikes – subject to confirmation of a £21.5m DfT funding bid.
- An expansion of GM’s bike loan scheme and relaunching of cycle training to provide people with the confidence and skills to commute by bike
Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from Monday, 15 June, and it will be up to passengers to ensure they are wearing a face covering. To help people get used to the change and embed this new expected behaviour TfGM will be distributing a limited number of masks at staffed bus stations, interchanges and some Metrolink stops from Monday, June 15.
Employers are being urged to follow a set of SafeGM guidelines, including:
- Supporting home working wherever possible
- Where possible, only bringing a proportion of their staff back at one time and staggering the working day by allowing some staff to start earlier and others to finish later to ease the peak on public transport.
- Providing good hygiene facilities.
- Enabling social distancing and where operationally impractical implementing measures to lower risk of transmission e.g. providing PPE
- Boosting employee confidence by conducting and publishing a risk assessment
- Workplaces, especially Retail should boost confidence by displaying a notice visibly in their shop windows or outside their store to show their employees, customers and other visitors that they are implementing Government guidance
- Acknowledging the needs of individual employees, who may need to consider childcare or other responsibilities
- Promoting good mental and physical health
Information supporting employers and employees in reopening the Greater Manchester economy safely is available via www.togethergm.org/reopening and will also be shared on social media using the #SafeGM hashtag.