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Workers refuse to go back to work unless there are air quality assurances

Concerns about catching Coronavirus in the air have risen since the end of 2020 according to new research by business services firm, Rentokil Initial.

More than one in four (26 per cent) Brits are worried about airborne transmission, a 19 per cent increase from when Rentokil Initial conducted the same survey back in November 2020. Contact with other people, for example, when social distancing is breached, remains the most concerning route for transmission, cited by half the population.

The poll of 2,000 adults also found that the majority (52 per cent) of Brits remain worried life will never go back to normal, the same percentage was recorded previously.

Last year the World Health Organisation updated its guidance to say that Coronavirus could be transmitted via aerosols in the air, and this ‘Air to Person’ transmission route has been widely covered in the news and is clearly impacting public attitudes.

Two thirds (68 per cent) of those surveyed said they believe businesses and employers should do more to ensure they provide clean air in the premises (up from 65 per cent in November 2020), while 62 per cent of respondents went so far to say that air purification systems should be mandatory in public buildings and education facilities (up from 59 per cent). Nearly one third (30 per cent) of workers said they won’t go back to work unless their employer assures them of the building’s indoor air quality.

Heading towards the 12th April and the first proposed step in the relaxation of lockdown measures for the retail and hospitality sectors in England, concerns about socialising indoors appear to be heightened. The three activities that concern the public the most post lockdown are: using public transport (36 per cent), socialising indoors (31 per cent) and drinking indoors at bars or pubs (29 per cent).

Jamie Woodhall, UK Technical & Innovation Manager, Rentokil Initial commented: “These survey results show that tackling air quality and preventing the airborne spread of Coronavirus clearly remains an important challenge, alongside the vaccine rollout.

“The scientific evidence continues to build  and it is very clear  how important good ventilation and air purification is within indoor spaces. When it comes to easing of lockdown measures, the expectation from the public is that businesses and employers need to do their bit in helping to ensure that they are providing clean air, so that the risk of catching an airborne virus  indoors is reduced.”

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