Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is advising businesses as they face a tight turnaround after the government announced the relaxing of restrictions that come into effect today.

Businesses have been put in a difficult position and public opinion remains divided with the government leaving a number of grey areas around social distancing and mask wearing.

Business leaders have been told that the requirement to stay socially distanced, wear masks and implement other Covid-19 safety measures will be dropped in most workplaces under the new guidance coming into practice today.

Responsibility is instead being passed to businesses to assess what they need to do to keep their staff and customers safe, with updated guidance now issued.

The Chamber is unhappy that businesses will be put in a difficult position, with the government now putting the responsibility entirely onto businesses.

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director at the Chamber, said: “Although the Government has removed some specific legal restrictions – such as mandatory face coverings in indoor settings – businesses still have a moral and legal duty of care to their staff and customers, and need to manage risks.

“So, many are asking questions about whether they will be held liable should they make changes to the way they operate from July 19."

She added that communication will be key for businesses: “Businesses have been left in a difficult situation with just five days from last Wednesday’s announcement to make this judgement call and effectively communicate it to their staff and customers."