Construction is in a confused state after the Prime Minister introduced new guidelines banning people leaving their homes for the next three weeks, unless they are going to work, caring for the vulnerable or going food shopping. People should work from home where possible but if working, they should follow strict social distancing guidelines.
At the moment construction is considered unaffected by the new regulations, but there are increasing questions being asked about how long this can continue.
Last night the communities and housing secretary Robert Jenrick posted on twitter that the advice for the construction industry was: “If you are working on site, you can continue to do so.”
But there has been criticism that sites are remaining open. Scotland’s First Minister, Nichola Sturgeon called for construction sites to close in Scotland and in London Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, called for sites to be closed on public health grounds.
Earlier in the evening the Construction Leadership Council said that to implement the Government’s social distancing recommendation, it has now published Site Operating Procedures: “We strongly recommend that these procedures are implemented by every operational construction site.”
Build UK went on to say in its statement:”It is also vital that the health and safety requirements of any construction activity must not be compromised at this time. If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available, or social distancing being implemented, it should not take place.”
There was criticism on social media with posts questioning the continued operation of construction sites. “Absolute lack of leadership from the construction leadership Council. Putting the lives of construction workers at risk,” was on and another saying: “Thanks for putting construction workers and their families lives at risk.”