Coronavirus on black background

COVID-19 and the easing of lockdown

As lockdown rules ease organisations will need to continue to understand the security risks to them and their staff.  This guidance provides steps to take when managing these risks

Last Updated 08 June 2021

COVID-19 and security

As lockdown eases around the country, a phased unlocking of the UK economy has begun, and with it, a gradual return to some form of normality.

Many organisations and sites are now considering the easing of lockdown and the opportunities to review and establish secure new ways of working and also reinvigorate and embed good security practices and messaging.

It is a timely opportunity to:

  • Review your risk assessment, with particular focus on any areas where things may have changed as a result of COVID lockdowns or their easing
  • Put proportionate measures, policies and procedures in place to mitigate the new risks
  • Communicate changes clearly and effectively
  • Provide guidance and training to adapt to the new security arrangements
  • Give access to welfare for those needing additional support. 

The advice and guidance on this page is designed to support your organisation and to highlight opportunities to strengthen your protective security regime for the future.

Latest guidance

man walking with bike

Published May 2021

1 - Returning to the workplace

Some employees may have had a long absence from the workplace and may naturally have concerns about their return, which if not handled well could lead to disaffection (a known key risk factor in insider acts).

back-view-businessman-walking-with-bike-park square

This guidance provides Personnel Security advice for organisations on how to mitigate potential security risks during the government’s 4 Step Plan for coming out of lockdown.

people in masks on escalator

The easing of lockdown and move towards business as usual (BAU) provides sites and organisations with incredible opportunities to review and establish secure new ways of working.

Coworkers in office wearing masks

Guidance to support line managers for holding a ‘return to the workplace’ conversation with staff that will support the organisation’s personnel security regime.

Team work and handshake

It is important to preserve the trust already established with employees. This guidance gives employers hints and tips on how to keep the trust employees have in their employers and organisations.

Team meeting and talking

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic many organisations will go through a significant period of change to adapt to new ways of working. Communicating this change effectively to employees will help ensure they continue to trust in the organisation’s ability to support them.

People walking with masks

CPNI have released guidance on how to promote protective security measures alongside any planned communications related to COVID-19.

Workplace Behaviour poster

This campaign can help encourage the right behaviours in your work premises to ensure your work can continue whilst keeping our employees as safe as possible.

Forms of ID

The Home Office has issued guidance for how to conduct right to work checks during COVID-19 and this advice can also be applied to other parts of an organisation’s screening processes where it is not possible to check an original document.

Woman on video call interview

Guidance designed to make interviewers aware of tried and tested best practice for interviews undertaken via a telephone or online, as well as recommendations from latest academic research.

2 - Risk mitigations for organisations

All organisations and sites will need to adjust their protective security arrangements to reflect changing threats and new working practices.  

Security guard watching

This guidance is to assist site security managers in understanding how to get the best security effect from a depleted guard force and establishing resilience through the COVID-19 pandemic phases.

Finger on keypad

CPNI have produced guidance on how to ensure Access Control points are kept clean and safe during a pandemic and to secure and prevent access to non-essential areas.

Masked Man with ID

Maximise effectiveness of communicating when wearing a face covering such as a face mask, and some things to consider when seeking to identify and resolve suspicious behaviour in light of the wide spread wearing of face coverings.

Drone over wire fence

This document provides advice on countering drone threats during COVID-19. It has been developed for new and existing CPNI customers.

Coins coming out of a jar

CPNI has drawn together important security considerations for businesses in financial distress, including those in insolvency or administration, either directly or as a third party.

3 - Risk mitigations for Crowded Places

In order to minimise the risks to people, organisations and authorities can take practical steps to reduce the risk within Crowded Places.

People queueing in rain

Reduce the risk from Vehicle As a Weapon (VAW) attack as social distancing measures require authorities and businesses to guide customers in and around commercial premises and publicly accessible locations e.g. high streets.

Somerset pavement with tables

CPNI has published guidance on protective security considerations for high street hospitality with additional guidance available on the Hostile Vehicle Mitigation page.

Office screens

This guidance discusses the purpose and aim of the COVID-19 countertop screens and highlights the security implications which should be considered.

Virtual tour on phone

Advice on how to create virtual tours in a security-minded way.

4 - Remote Working

Working remotely, if not handled appropriately, can result in unintentional causing harm caused by staff.

laptop on desk

This document provides advice on the key Personnel Security considerations for remote working during the second wave of COVID-19

TBYL Faces poster

Think Before You Link provides advice on the security risks of putting too much information about your employment on social media.

5 - Ongoing security threats

Continue to identify the threats from the current pandemic situation to your organisation.

Silhouette through doorway

Having a strong security culture will act as a deterrent to insider activity by ensuring the workforce have a good understanding of security awareness, and ensure they understand how to report concerns where they notice behaviour of concern

Meeting with 2 people in masks

Where usual security practices are either suspended or changed to reflect different working patterns and where security staff resource is limited, it is important to take a strategic view of security risks and priorities

PSeMS Checklist square

Where usual security practices are either suspended or changed to reflect different working patterns and where security staff resource is limited, it is important to take a strategic view of security risks and priorities

6 - Further information and guidance

There are other resources that will also offer guidance on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic within your organisation. NCSC has produced a guide to working from home which gives information and guidance around the challenges of an increase in home working. They have also produced guidance on mitigating malware and ransomware attacks which provides information on steps to take before a malware infection has occurred and guidance to help organisations to select, configure and securely implement video conferencing services.

The Government also have a website which will be updated regularly providing the latest recommended guidelines on what we should all be doing during the lockdown.

If you have any queries regarding the above or if you would like to know more specific information please contact [email protected]

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