Construction sites remain open despite Coronavirus lockdown

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Boris Johnson has ordered people to stay at home and banned gatherings of more than two people, but construction sites remain open

Despite Boris Johnson’s new measures outlined last night (23 March), construction sites are still able to operate.

Johnson stated people would only be permitted to leave their homes for a few reasons. He said: “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.

“That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.”

Pressure is growing to shut some construction sites down as workers reveal crowded areas break social distancing rules.

First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, said builders must put the tools down to decrease the increasing number of coronavirus deaths in Scotland.

Clarity on construction sites

The Construction Leadership Council said it is “doing our utmost to keep construction sites operational wherever it is practical and safe to do so.”

Chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, Graham Watts, tweeted: The chair of the CLC, Andy Mitchell, has been in dialogue with the Cabinet Office since the PM’s announcement at 8-30pm this evening.

“Officials are working to secure much-needed clarity about the position of construction sites, which may take until the morning.

“It is clear that this does not mean that everything must stop – it certainly doesn’t apply to those working in the health services and utilities operations and maintenance for example. In the meantime, the CLC chair has advised the Cabinet Office that the construction.

“Industry will come to work tomorrow, to prepare to shut down works safely, whilst awaiting further information.”

He added: “He has also made clear that this should include the maintaining of site security, the stability of partially constructed structures that could become unstable and potentially dangerous, and the maintenance of systems that would be unsafe to stop (dewatering systems that, if failed, could lead to catastrophic disaster, but there will be other examples).

“We hope that by tomorrow morning there will be a much clearer picture of exactly what can and cannot continue.

“The main message is that the prime minister’s announcement does not mean “do not go to work regardless of the consequences” as this would be irrational and wrong, and unintended.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. So now it’s back to work as normal on Wednesday 25th as sites have stayed open. The self isolation failed at it’s first hurdle. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that we stay safe and don’t create the increased spread bringing our NHS to it’s knees so someone can move house

    • Such a joke. Deaths and cases are growing and growing rapidly, we fail at the first hurdle of lockdown. How can we implement a strict lock down, if the government can’t grow a back bone and lay down a harsher law. No construction sites should be open, how does that help with easing the pressure on our NHS. I would really like someone to explain how a new house build site is currently a necessity in this current climate….. if we don’t start to pay attention and lock our selves down, there will be no body to buy these beautiful homes they are so eager to build!!!!

  2. I’m a carpenter working in people’s houses. It says that you can work only when you can’t work from home. Well obviously my work cannot be done from my home so where does this leave me?

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