Go-ahead for gradual return to work in Scotland

Aaron Morby 4 years ago
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Scotland’s first minister has given the all-clear for construction workers to gradually return to work.

The next phase in Scotland’s easing of lockdown will be a ‘soft start’ to site works only on projects where physical distancing can be maintained.

Domestic work is among the scope of construction work now permitted in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “I can confirm today that the construction sector will be able to move to the next step of its restart plan, which is something that was always envisaged as part of phase one of our routemap.

“Earlier steps have allowed for health and safety planning followed by preparatory work on construction sites and moving to the next step of the industry plan will now allow workers to return to construction sites gradually while using measures such as social distancing and hand hygiene to ensure that they can do so safely.

“I’m very grateful to the sector and to trade unions for the very responsible approach that they have taken during a very difficult time.

“It is important to be very clear though that we still have a very long way to go before construction will be working at full capacity, but there is no doubt that this a significant step in allowing an important industry to return safely to work.”

Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum chair Alan Wilson, who is also managing director of trade body SELECT, said: “The announcement about a return to work and the inclusion of domestic work in the lockdown easing will be a huge relief to the lots of businesses across the whole sector which provide essential services to homeowners all over Scotland.

“However, as always in construction, safety is the overriding consideration and firms must prepare to carry out work in a wholly changed working environment, which will produce its own new challenges.”

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