In her address to the Scottish Parliament today First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to tighten lockdown measures from midnight tonight.
The First Minister used evidence of accelerating spread of COVID-19 in Scotland (a further 1,905 new cases were reported on Monday – with 15% of tests returning a positive result) to underline the news that a new legal, stay-at-home order was necessary and would come into force from midnight tonight.
Construction was not covered specifically within the speech, however, the First Minister stressed that every businesses should take this as seriously as in March and “look at their operations and ensure that every single function that can be done by people working at home is being done in that way”. FIS understand this to mean that construction can continue in accordance with the Construction Scotland Site Operating Procedures. We await further guidance from the Scottish Parliament and will update accordingly. The First Minister also advised that anybody who is in the Shielding category should not leave the house for the purposes of work and the Chief Medical Officer will be writing to this group to provide further clarity.
In the event of construction workers being stopped on journeys to and from sites, Build UK has produced an authorisation letter template which employers can use. Breaching the stay at home guidance would attract a minimum £60 fine without a reasonable excuse (e.g. work, a medical appointment, exercise or to collect food and supplies). Other aspects of the guidance will see all schools close (for most pupils) til the 1st February.
CICV-SOP-Guidance-Book has been developed to extend this guidance mindful of the best available guidance, nationally and internationally, and serves as a guide for the management of COVID-19 on a construction site for the duration of the pandemic. Additional information to support safe working in a pandemic are available through the FIS H&S Toolkit here.
Follow the latest COVID updates on the FIS COVID-19 Hub here.
The full speech from the First Minister is available via the link below.