In a sombre message to the nation the Prime Minister advised that, due to acceleration of COVID-19 cases linked to the new variant of the virus, England would need to enter a new National Lockdown.
People have been advised to stay at home except for specific reasons, “including essential shopping, to work, if you cannot work from home, to exercise, to seek medical help, and to escape domestic abuse”. Whilst the duration of the lockdown was not covered, the Prime Minister included a message of hope that key vulnerable groups would be vaccinated by mid February and this would enable an easement.
Guidance issued this evening by Government confirms that construction can continue where sites can be managed in accordance with the CLC Site Operating Procedures:
Work – you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance
Detailed guidance on Tier 5 is available from Government here.
Beyond construction activity, other areas that may impact members include:
Showrooms: For products used in homes, including bathrooms, kitchens and glazing, must be closed, including where located as distinct sections in hardware stores and builders’ merchants. Delivery, click & collect, and trade counter services may continue.
Training During Lockdown: Colleges are only open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, and CITB has confirmed that its National Construction
- Colleges will be closed for face‐to‐face training until at least 22 February.
- Face‐to‐face training is not included in the list of ‘reasonable excuses’ to leave home, and construction training is not listed within the courses which should continue face‐to‐face training.
- Apprentices and other trainees can continue to work on site as part of their training.
CITB Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) testing centres in England and Scotland will remain open; however, those in Wales have closed.
Further updates will be provided as information becomes available and you can access support via the FIS COVID-19 Hub here.