THE government updated the guidance on their website for working through the current COVID-19 pandemic, which can be read in full HERE.
The new guidance clarifies that construction sites may remain open and tradespeople carrying out important repairs and maintenance may continue to operate - as long as they follow the appropriate instructions.
WHICH BUSINESSES NEED TO CLOSE?
On Monday, 23 March, MP Boris Johnson ordered certain businesses were to close. These include:
- Pubs, cinemas and theatres;
- Retail stores selling non-essential items;
- Libraries, youth centres and community centres;
- Restaurants and nightclubs;
- Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities;
A full list of businesses ordered to close - as well as exemptions to the order - can be found HERE.
The government has not required any business which is not on this list to close.
Construction sites are not on the list of businesses ordered to close, and thus may remain open. Workers who are unable to work from home are permitted to travel to get to and from work.
However, employers on construction sites should still ensure they are following the Public Health England guidelines, which can be found HERE. This includes ensuring workers regualrly wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds and maintain a 2 meter distance wherever possible.
The Construction Leadership Council has published Site Operating Procedures, developed by Build UK, which gives advice for construction companies remaining open.
Work that must be carried out in people's homes is also permitted and such workers are allowed to travel to get to and from work.
However, no work should be done in the property of someone who is isolating "unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs", and only if the worker consents.
No work should be carried out by any worker who displays any coronavirus symptoms at all.
Workers should also consult the Public Health England guidelines, which can be found HERE.