NEARLY half the public would be confident in inviting tradespeople back into their homes if measures are in place to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, a poll by oven valeting company Ovenu has revealed.

More than 46 per cent of respondents said they would consider allowing tradespeople into their homes to carry out work.

Rik Hellewell, founder and managing director of Ovenu, which has more than 100 franchisees across the UK, said he was detecting a growing public demand to re-engage with responsible businesses as long as preventative measures, including social distancing, hygiene and cleanliness, were strictly adhered to.

The poll, involving a sample of 2,110 people, was conducted by independent market research company DRG at the start of May.

It also found an overwhelming 80 per cent of householders would not want tradespeople in their homes wearing PPE, compared with 19 per cent that would – pointing to a lack of confidence in the variations in quality and supply of PPE currently available. Ovenu operates businesses in Darlington, Durham, Harrogate and York.

Mr Hellewell said: “This poll seems to be an accurate reflection of the nation’s mood as everyone’s circumstances, including the size and layout of their homes, is different, and I completely respect anyone who wishes to continue to socially isolate.

“We have received enquiries from customers in recent weeks about our oven valeting services and I believe that a range of trades could return to work as part of a phased easing of restrictions.”

Ovenu recently announced that individual franchisees were, at their discretion, now accepting bookings with the strict stipulation that social distancing measures must always be observed by both parties and government guidelines on hygiene adhered to. PPE may also be worn.

Mr Hellewell added: “Our paramount concern is the safety and wellbeing of our franchisees and their clients. To that end, they can carry out the work with the absolute minimum, or even zero, contact – delivering a service while helping to refuel this nation’s economy.”

Last month he wrote to Business Secretary Alok Sharma, Scotland’s Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, to highlight an initiative underway in Australia that is supporting small and medium-sized businesses get back to work.

The Australian government has given businesses access to an online course designed for those in the healthcare sector that covers the fundamentals of COVID-19 infection prevention and control.

Having passed the course, can display their certificate, encouraging public confidence in their ability to remain safe while working.

He has called for such a measure to be introduced in the UK to be used in conjunction with government advice on avoiding the spread of infection.