New guidance for continued safe working during the coronavirus outbreak has been welcomed by the county's business and community leaders.

The Government has expanded on the advice around social distancing in the workplace given to the business community, tailored for sectors including farming, outdoor working, retail, manufacturing. logistics, construction and transport.

Cumbria's Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group, the multi-agency network leading the county's response to Covid-19, said it was vital advice.

Jo Lappin, chair of the group and chief executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “There’s a misconception that only those businesses that are described as essential should be operating at the moment. That isn’t the case.

“The Government’s own original guidance made clear that, apart from those specifically requested to close, where businesses can continue to operate it is important that they do, whilst adhering to measures that will keep their workforce safe."

The Government said the advice was not intended to be exhaustive, but were illustrations of situations.

For example, it said tradespeople working in people's homes can continue, as long as the tradesperson is well and no one in the house is self-isolating or showing Covid-19 symptoms – unless it is to mend an urgent problem.

It said manufacturing was important to the economy and added: "It can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible.

"If you decide the work should continue, [and social distancing is not possible]staff should work side-by-side or facing away from each other rather than face-to-face if possible."

Mrs Lappin added: “These are seriously challenging times for the UK economy and it’s vital that we get the message across that where organisations are able to work safely then they should continue to do so.

“It is vitally important that we all support our businesses as they will be critical to our future economic recovery. The more businesses that can safely continue to work, the less challenging that recovery will be.”

Visit for the detailed guidance.