Construction to continue during second lockdown

With COVID-19 infection rates rising again, the Prime Minister’s order of a second national lockdown seemed inevitable. Back in March, the first national lockdown caused uncertainty and disruption to the construction industry. But this time, the Prime Minister was very clear in his national address on Saturday evening that “Workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home – for example, in the construction or manufacturing sectors”.

The industry was quick to implement COVID safe measures across sites at the start of the pandemic, and social distancing on site is now considered the norm. So, sites haven’t had to adjust practices to continue working safely and effectively during this lockdown. In further support of the industry, it has been confirmed that hotels can stay open to offer accommodation to construction workers working away from home. For those travelling to work, Build UK has produced an authorisation letter template for employers in the event of workers being stopped on journeys to and from sites anywhere in the UK.

MCG Construction Operations Director, Ricky Robson, said: “It’s great to see that the Government have seen the essential nature of the construction industry and the benefits we bring as a trade to the economy. By allowing supporting trades such as hotel chains to provide accommodation for workers will ensure that vital works will continue. Our industry not only helps build the economy, but it also builds and repairs our homes, hospitals and services.”

It has also been announced that the furlough scheme, which was due to end at the end at the end of October, will continue. The Prime Minister said: “I’m under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure such hardship this year and I am truly sorry for that. That’s why we are going to extend the furlough system through November […] we will not end it, we will extend furlough until December.”

MCG Construction Operations Director, Brian McBrearty, said: “It’s been a hard year for all industries, but we see all the measures that the Government has put into place to support construction as a real positive. This will allow not only works to continue, but for the flow of manufacture, supply of materials and labour and logistical supports to continue.”

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