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Cleaning “key” for lockdown exit strategy: a sectorial approach is needed, says new Guidance
An EU-produced, Joint European Roadmap providing a common framework for European and national authorities to phase-out Covid-19 containment measures, recognises the key role cleaning and disinfection have to play.
It highlights the need for:
• Intensifying regular cleaning and disinfection of transport hubs, shops and workplaces, and
• Enhanced cleaning of schools and universities
The Roadmap also underlines that communication efforts to prevent further spread of the virus should be sustained, including that regarding the cleaning of high-contact surfaces.
EFCI – the European & Facility Services Industry association, welcomes the specific recommendations regarding cleaning and hygiene measures. It says that cleaning and facilities services companies are ready to continue working to ensure collective safety, and that they are ready to take on the challenge of ensuring that the sanitisation operations necessary for the reopening of buildings and facilities are carried out. Nevertheless, it is calling for the support of European and national authorities to make that possible.
It says that to ensure continuity in the provision of professional cleaning services, national authorities and European institutions must recognise, (if this has not happened already) that cleaning, hygiene and sanitisation operations are essential activities and those involved in cleaning are key workers.
Further, it points out that cleaning companies have been severely hit by the closure of buildings and by the suspension or termination of private and public contracts. It says that the impact on the employment of such measures is under analysis, but that liquidity problems and the increased costs for companies due to sanitisation operations are putting cleaning companies under strain. A great number of cleaning companies are facing severe problems to reopen across Europe. Furthermore, access to protective equipment is still a problem while the safety of cleaning operatives is a priority for companies.
Against this background, EFCI welcomes the work of the European Institutions regarding the Recovery Fund and calls for a sectorial approach in the design of the specific support measures to be taken.
EFCI says it welcomes the approach described by the Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton on 24th April, that: "The first objective should be to identify which European ‘industrial ecosystems’ are to be prioritised”. It says that this vision would ensure that cleaning and facilities services companies, together with other business services, can count on the necessary and urgent support needed to overcome the negative economic impact of Covid-19 and enable companies in the sector to continue working to safeguard public health in the recovery phase as well as the exit phase.
7th May 2020