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Business groups and labor unions demand clarity after UK eases lockdown rules

May 11, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In this grab taken from video issued by Downing Street on Sunday, May 10, 2020, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers an address on lifting the country's lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Downing Street via AP)

Groups representing UK business and workers have blasted the government's plans to ease coronavirus lockdown rules, complaining that crucial details on how companies should prepare for a safe return to work are missing.

London (CNN Business)Groups representing UK business and workers have blasted the government's plans to ease coronavirus lockdown rules, complaining that crucial details on how companies should prepare for a safe return to work are missing.

"We said that you should work from home if you can, and only go to work if you must.

We now need to stress that anyone who can't work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work," Johnson said during a televised address from 10 Downing Street.

Yet labor unions urged caution, saying many people won't be able to get to work if they also follow the government's recommendation to avoid public transportation.

"Lots of working people will feel anxious and confused after listening to Boris Johnson," Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, wrote on Twitter, noting that the government hasn't published guidance on how workers will be kept safe.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Monday that workers who cannot work from home should start Wednesday, instead of immediately, as many viewers of the prime minister's speech had assumed.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have extended their lockdowns to May 28 and officials from all three nations said there had been no coordination with the UK government over its new messaging, which advises people to "stay alert" rather than "stay home. " Authorities outside England said they would continue to recommend their citizens stay home.

"Businesses will need to see detailed plans for the phased easing of restrictions, coordinated with all nations across the UK and supported by clear guidance," director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, Adam Marshall, said in a statement.

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