Coronavirus: Openreach tells engineers to avoid entering people’s homes

It comes as the firm puts priority on “essential work” first during the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.


Openreach has said it will prioritise “essential work” during the coronavirus lockdown, advising its engineers to avoid entering people’s homes.

The BT-owned firm is focusing efforts on critical national infrastructure, essential public services, vulnerable customers and those without service.

Firms that use Openreach’s infrastructure – such as Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone – are helping to identify and prioritise these groups.

“We know that what Openreach does is critical and connecting people has never been more important,” a spokesman said.

“That’s why many of our roles have been given ‘key worker’ status.

“That said, the safety of our people and the public is come first and, based on the new guidance, we’re now prioritising essential work.”

A large amount of work can be done outside without the need to enter a customer’s property, Openreach explained.

It is recommending staff not to complete any work inside a property “unless it would leave a vulnerable customer with no form of connection” and “it’s not possible to provide one by any other means”.

Virgin Media
Virgin Media said it is continuing to review its processes and will make any necessary changes (Nick Ansell/PA)

Meanwhile, Virgin Media said it is continuing to review its processes and will make any necessary changes.

Technicians are being asked to confirm they don’t have flu-like symptoms, are not self-isolating and haven’t been to high-risk areas.

Three days before a scheduled technician install visit, and one day before a scheduled technician service visit, Virgin Media will text customers to ask if anyone living at their property has been asked to self-isolate or has flu-like symptoms.

If customers says yes, the visit will be rescheduled for two weeks later.

On the day of a technician visit, customers will receive a call around 30 minutes before they arrive, asking about the status of household members once again.

Where possible, a self-install QuickStart pack will be sent instead, Virgin Media added.

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