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‘Close sites now’

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The Scottish Government has told contractors to shut sites immediately unless they are supporting crucial work during the coronavirus crisis.

Today’s warning follows reports of a number of England-based contractors continuing to work on non-essential projects in defiance of previous advice to halt work.

“Any project deemed essential can only continue operating if it can comply with guidance on social distancing, safety and welfare during the COVID-19 outbreak. Any site unable to meet these requirements should close,” it said.

Essential projects include those that will be used directly in COVID-19 related activities, schemes that are considered essential public services, and the repair and maintenance of critical infrastructure.

Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “We recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for businesses of all kinds, but the Scottish Government’s priority is saving lives and fighting COVID-19. To this end, all construction sites should close unless they are essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis. I want to make clear our thanks to the construction workers who are continuing to work on these essential projects.

“This guidance offers clear and comprehensive advice on how the industry should respond in these unprecedented and difficult times. I am grateful to the STUC, Unite the Union and Construction Scotland for their input.

“In this public health emergency it is vital that all businesses act responsibly and align fully with the social distancing measures introduced to protect the nation’s heath, well-being and economic future.”

The order comes into effect immediately and will last until further notice.  A review of the measures will take place in three weeks. NHS boards will make decisions on their own sites and projects in conjunction with their contractors.

Operational advice to the construction sector

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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 6/4/2020