Effective immediately: New (and old) legal requirements for the workplace
Incidences in Germany are dropping, and nationwide infection control measures have expired. Starting July 1, 2021, loosened Corona regulations will apply in homes, schools and workplaces. They are scheduled to remain in effect until Sept. 10. What do the new rules entail for employers and employees?
- Employers are no longer required to offer employees work from home. However, they will still be encouraged to do so on a voluntary basis.
- Those who are now working on-site, unvaccinated and otherwise unprotected, must be given the opportunity to test themselves or be tested at least twice a week.
- The standard rules continue to apply: keep your distance, wear appropriate mouth/nose protection when in contact, wash/disinfect your hands regularly, and ventilate adequately.
Delta variant: A fourth wave
As great as the joy about the eased restrictions is, at the same time a fourth wave seems inevitable: the question is no longer " if", but " how high". This is because the Delta variant is much more contagious and responsible for much more severe courses of the disease than its predecessors. For this reason, stricter corona rules are once again in force in many countries. Just at the end of June, for example, Israel had lifted part of the loosening again and reintroduced the mask requirement for indoor areas. The current relaxations should therefore also be taken with caution in Germany and other countries, both in private and in the workplace.
Shared workplace: caution remains the order of the day
More employees will definitely be on site in companies again after the summer vacation. Politicians and experts therefore urgently advise to strictly adhere to the mask obligation, not only in direct contact. Because a working day in the office without a mask is considered one of the most contagious scenarios, and the risk of infectious aerosols is now even higher than before due to the Delta variant. Meanwhile, the legal regulation formulates vaguely: the number of employees in closed work and break rooms remains limited. In addition it says in the press release of the Federal Ministry of Labor: "Company-related contacts and the simultaneous use of rooms by several people must ... be reduced to the necessary minimum." But there is no longer a requirement for a minimum of ten square meters of free space for each person present. "It is in situations like these that AiroDoctorⓇ provides additional safety in the workplace," says Carsten Hermann, managing director of ScreenSource GmbH. "Protecting employees must remain a top priority. Right now, it's about keeping the Delta wave as shallow as possible."