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Leaked Report Suggests Perspex Screens in Offices Should be Scrapped

Leaked Report Suggests Perspex Screens in Offices Should be Scrapped
16 June 2021

According to a draft cabinet report seen by POLITICO, ministers are being advised perspex screens do little to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The report states that problems include them not being positioned correctly, with the possibility that they actually increase the risk of transmission by blocking airflow.

Screens or barriers to separate people have been widely used in workplaces, pubs and restaurants to make spaces COVID-secure and encourage social distancing

Gov.UK's guidance for working safely in offices and contact centres currently says: "Consider using barriers to separate people and introduce back-to-back or side-by-side working."




Additionally, the government's guidance for food businesses states that if businesses have taken steps to create a physical barrier or screen between workers and members of the public, then staff behind the barrier or screen will not be required to wear a face covering.

The World Health Organisation, in their document "Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and considerations during severe shortages", recommend glass/plastic screens to create a barrier between health care workers and patients.

The Health and Safety Executive recommends introducing suitable barriers or screens where people regularly interact, such as service desks or reception areas. 

The leak published by POLITICO suggests that instead of helping to prevent person-to-person COVID-19 transmission, barriers of this type may prevent adequate airflow in buildings.

Picture: a photograph of a person working at a desk behind a perspex screen

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 16 June 2021


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