The announcement about the creation of a new Tier 4 level of restrictions, which will apply in London and the South East of England, impose greater restrictions on those living in Tier 4 areas, similar to those applying during March and April, although their main aim is to reduce social interactions between people living in different households. In terms of how these apply to the construction industry, the guidance specifies that:
- Those living in Tier 4 areas may continue to travel to work, where work cannot be undertaken at home. This includes those working in other people’s homes:
Where people cannot do so – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers.
Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so. Otherwise, you should avoid meeting for work in a private home or garden, where COVID-19 Secure measures may not be in place.
- It is also allowable to travel into a Tier 4 area from a Tier 1,2 or 3 area for work purposes, again where work cannot be undertaken at home;
- Builder’s merchants and suppliers of building products can also remain open, provided they can do so safely (other types of retailer can offer click and collect or delivery services). The text of the new guidance is set out below:
Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including:
- Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres and Christmas tree retailers, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
Showrooms for kitchens, bathrooms, tiles and glaing will be classed as non-essential retail and are required to close to the public although click and collect or delivery services can be provided. This includes where they are part of a larger business. Showrooms can stay open to the public in Tier 1-3 areas.
The full guidance can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home.