Easing of Restrictions
18 October 2020
Dear Clients and Colleagues,
Following the restrictions that were imposed as of September 25, 2020, which prevented the opening and operation of certain workplaces, the government has enacted regulations whereby as of today, October 18, 2020, workplaces are permitted to re-open. In this update, we will summarize the main elements of the government’s decision, in relation to the option of re-opening workplaces.
Which Workplaces can Re-Open?
- Since the restrictions were made stricter on September 25, 2020, regular employee attendance at workplaces was not permitted at all, unless the workplace was exempted within the regulations, taking into account its indispensability. In addition, certain employees were permitted to attend the workplace, if their attendance was vital in order to ensure the continued functionality of workplaces that were not exempted from the general rule forbidding the opening and operation of workplaces.
- The government’s latest decision, which was enacted into an amendment to the Regulations, states that as of today, October 18, 2020, all workplaces may permit employee attendance.
- However, workplaces whose activities include receiving clientele, cannot receive members of the public, unless specifically permitted to do so within the Regulations. According to the Regulations, receiving members of the public is only permitted in order to provide an essential service to individuals who cannot receive such service remotely (either on-line or by phone), and, among others, in relation to workplaces in the industries detailed in the Second Appendix to the Special Authorities to Handle Covid-19 Regulations (Temporary Order) (Restriction of Activities in the Workplace), 2020. In relation to workplaces that are open to the public, whose activity has not been restricted, various provisions were put in place regarding the manner of their operations, including, the requirement to submit an executed declaration to the local municipality, prior to opening the workplace to the public.
Which Restrictions Apply to Workplaces upon their Re-Opening?
- In general, the same conditions and restrictions that were put in place in the Regulations, regarding social distancing and hygiene rules, apply to workplaces that are now permitted to re-open, as well as workplaces that worked throughout the lockdown.
- In this context, and as noted in our previous updates, it is important to ensure, among other things, that workplaces with over 10 employees have an appointed Corona Virus Officer, and an executed declaration in the form attached to the Regulations; to the extent possible, social distancing of two meters should be maintained between individuals; and personal equipment should be assigned to each individual; for workplaces that operate in shifts – the same groups of employees should be assigned to each shift; employers should arrange for non-invasive body temperature checks, and prohibit anyone with a body temperature of 38°C or above from entering the workplace; professional meetings of up to 10 individuals may be conducted; if employees can perform their work from home, this should be permitted; employees should be informed of the requirement to wear facemasks; as well as additional instructions that apply pursuant to the Regulations.
- As opposed to the rules that applied during the first wave of Covid-19, this time, there is no limitation on the rate of workplace attendance in relation to the size of the workforce. However, employers must verify that they meet all of the rules and conditions put in place in order to ensure social distancing and limit infection rates.
We are at your disposal, at any time, to assist and advise in relation to the implications resulting from the re-opening of workplaces and any other concerns relating to working during the Covid-19 era. We will, of course, continue to issue updates in relation to any relevant developments.
The Labour and Employment Department
Herzog Fox & Neeman