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Back to work – slowly

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Construction in Scotland has been given the nod to progress to the next phase of its lockdown exit strategy. But it has been warned it’s still a long way from business as normal.

In her daily Covd-19 briefing today First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said health and safety planning and preparatory work will allow workers to gradually return to sites. Phase two of construction’s return in Scotland allows a ‘soft start’ to operations.

Ms 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 [Scottish Government’s] route map.

“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.”

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Infrastructure business Barhale welcomes the news on social media.

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The First Minister praised the industry and trade unions for their “very responsible” approach but cautioned: “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.”

Welcoming the announcement, Gordon Nelson, Scotland director of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Health and safety, for employees and customers alike, will be critical as we work to bring the construction industry back to some semblance of normality. While this is good news, everyone concerned must recognise the importance of continuing to follow the guidance and ensuring that the only job that will be undertaken will be a safe job.”

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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 11/6/2020