The British Cleaning Council (BCC) has urged the public to follow the rules as most of the UK went into another Covid-19 lockdown.
The resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic has again emphasised the important role of the cleaning and hygiene industry in ensuring the UK recovers from Coronavirus, said BCC Chairman Paul Thrupp.
Thrupp spoke out after ‘stay at home’ orders were issued by the Governments of England and Scotland, with Wales and Northern Ireland already in lockdown.
He said: “I urge people to respect the rules, protect yourselves and others and help the country to recover from this terrible pandemic.
“Please only leave home for essential reasons, and when you are around other people, ‘Hands – Face – Space’ is more important than ever.
“Washing your hands regularly, using a mask and keeping socially distanced from other people are vital to stop the spread of Covid-19.”
Thrupp also praised the many cleaning and hygiene operatives who were acting as key workers keeping essential parts of the economy going during the pandemic.
“Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have seen the bravery of the many cleaning and hygiene people who play a vital role, protecting the health and safety of others, putting themselves at the very front of the battle against this virus.
“As we go into lockdown, many people are now working from home in a safe environment, but most cleaning and hygiene workers have to go out to work, often getting there by public transport, and are more likely to be exposed to the virus in the process.
“They help keep key industries like hospitals and health centres, food production and retail, transport, essential public services and our justice system going.
“Without cleaning and hygiene operatives keeping the NHS and other workplaces free of Coronavirus, people would get sick and these essential industries would grind to a halt. They deserve recognition for this incredible contribution.
“But 10 months on from the start of the pandemic, some of our people are still not classed as key or essential workers.
“We have called for this repeatedly since March last year and it is high-time all cleaning and hygiene operatives were recognised as key workers and, as important, these people should be prioritised for the vaccine so that they may be safe when delivering cleaning and hygiene solutions.”