Demand for cleaners rockets as lockdown restrictions are lifted and home visits are given the green light
- Online searches for ‘book a cleaner’ quadrupled yesterday after new guidance
- Thousands of families contacted pre-lockdown cleaners requesting they return
- Government said on Monday families are now allowed to bring in domestic help
Bookings by middle-class families for cleaners have surged after the Government lifted lockdown restrictions.
Online searches for ‘book a cleaner’ quadrupled yesterday following the confirmation families are now allowed to bring in domestic help.
Thousands of families have also contacted their pre-lockdown cleaners requesting they return.
Online searches for ‘book a cleaner’ quadrupled yesterday after the government released new guidance as to how they could return to work safely
Official guidance published on Monday said ‘meter readers, plumbers, cleaners, cooks and surveyors’ are allowed to work in homes.
The surge will be a welcome relief for cleaners – often low-paid and with irregular hours – after work dried up when lockdown was enforced on March 23.
They will only be allowed in a property if they are not displaying coronavirus symptoms and everyone in the household is in good health.
They can also still work for those aged 70 and over, said the guidance. But cleaners will not be allowed into the homes of vulnerable people on the ‘shield list’ unless the work is to boost safety.
Guidance also stipulates workers should maintain a safe distance of at least two metres from people in the household and open the windows for ventillation.
And they will not be forced to wear any personal protective equipment (PPE), in order to reserve gear for health and care workers.
Residents are asked to leave all the doors in the house open to minimise any contact with handles.
Government guidance says: ‘When managing the risk of Covid-19, additional PPE beyond what you usually wear is not beneficial.
‘This is because Covid-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.
When cleaning people’s homes, cleaners must keep at least two metres apart from the household and residents are advised to keep the windows open for ventilation
‘The exception is clinical settings, like a hospital, or a small handful of other roles for which Public Health England advises use of PPE.
‘Supplies of PPE, including facemasks, must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers.’
The guidance also emphasises that employers ‘should not encourage’ the precautionary use of extra PPE, although they should support workers if they choose to wear some form of protective equipment.’
Cleaners are being asked to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve if they cough or sneeze to limit the spread of the virus.
‘Clean regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people,’ the guidance states.
But some cleaning agencies are requiring their staff to wear disposable gloves and shoe coverings to further protect their workers.
The decision to allow domestic workers back into people’s homes sparked a row over why the same did not apply to relatives in second households.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan asked on Twitter: ‘Why can a cleaner come into my house but neither of my sons can do the same?’
But one user replied: ‘Your cleaner needs to go into your house in order to do their job. So it is okay for you to let them in.
‘Your sons don’t need to go into your house to do their jobs. So it is not okay for you to let them in.’