This week we’ve hit an important milestone in our route through the COVID-19 coronavirus, in the form of the removal of restrictions in England.
While, of course, we welcome such progress, we are also mindful of the need to balance our optimism with doing what’s right to continue keeping our employees and customers safe. We’re acutely conscious that many of our customers will still be feeling vulnerable and uncertain about the situation.
While COVID-secure measures like social distancing, mask-wearing and hand sanitisation have moved from mandatory to advisory, like all organisations with responsibility for people, we have carefully considered what would be most appropriate for us to do.
We’re proud of how we’ve managed to continue serving our customers throughout the pandemic, and are committed to maintaining that track record.
To help with that, we’ve reviewed the procedures and protections we have in place and are encouraging our customers to:
We’re also asking that you don’t come into branch if have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.
With your help, we hope to maintain our excellent track record so far, of continuing to provide a key service while protecting everyone who deals with us.
Our Chief Executive, Karl Elliott, said: “While the removal of restrictions is, in principle, a welcome step, I think everyone recognises that it comes with an element of risk.
“Great work has been done with the vaccination programme and it’s to be hoped that that will prove to have broken the link between positive cases and people becoming severely ill.
“However, we have to recognise that cases are rising quickly and, until we feel certain that the risk is significantly lower for everyone, we’ve decided it’s appropriate to encourage our staff and customers to continue to take care.
“Knowing our customers as we do, we feel sure that this is what you would expect from us, too, and we hope that the kinds of precautions we’re advocating are a small price to pay in order to give everyone increased peace of mind.”
We will continue to closely watch developments, adjusting our approach as things unfold.
Our Head of Operations, Lesley Wegg, added: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our customers for your support so far.
“It’s thanks to the way everyone has worked together, and the enormous dedication of our team, that we’re now able to take this tentative next step.”