MORE than three quarters of businesses expect to retain some level of social distancing on their premises for at least 12 months, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has revealed.

But nearly 80 per cent of companies which took part in a survey on post-pandemic recovery said they had no plans to ask staff for proof of Covid-19 vaccination as a condition of employment.

Shropshire Chamber, and other members of the British Chambers of Commerce, have been quizzing businesses on their proposals for ongoing protection measures.

The survey found that only five per cent of firms have so far introduced their own proof of vaccination rules. Firms with more than 50 staff are most likely to be considering a move, but the vast majority have no plans to do so.

However, 76 per cent of companies say they do expect to keep some form of social distancing in place over the next year, and more than half also plan to retain face coverings.

And only nine per cent of businesses expect to have been able to lift all Covid restrictions this time next year.

Richard Sheehan, chief executive of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s clear that businesses have no intention of undoing all the hard work of the past year in keeping staff and customers safe through the pandemic.

“But this research shows a real need for the Government to quickly clarify the measures which will be required for businesses to maintain safety standards after we hopefully reach the final stage of the roadmap on June 21.

“In particular, they must resolve the ongoing debate around the use of vaccine certification, providing clear and decisive guidance to business over whether ‘no jab, no job’ regulations can be enforced.”

He added: “I think most businesses across Shropshire are working on the assumption that they will need to keep some form of Covid-secure measures in place over the next 12 months.

“It’s a balancing act, of course, because interventions cannot afford to get in the way of financial recovery, or restrict a company’s ability to operate at full capacity. Common sense and caution is going to be the order of the day.”