Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak 

Build UK Contractor members have reported this week that almost all of their sites in England and Wales are now open, with 97% of infrastructure and construction sites operating, up from 93% a fortnight ago. Output continues to rise slowly, with infrastructure sites achieving 89%, up from 85%, and construction sites improving from 74% to 78%.

Members that include housing in their portfolios have confirmed that 93% of housing sites in England and Wales are now open, up from 68% a month ago, with output rising from 53% to 78% during that period.

The situation in Scotland remains very different, with just 21% of projects running and output at 27%. The Scottish Government is currently implementing Phase 1 of its covid-19 route map through and out of the crisis, which aligns to phases 0 and 1 of the construction re-start plan developed to get the industry back to work safely.

Phase 2 of the Construction Re-Start Plan is known as the ‘soft start’, which will see work that can be carried out within physical distancing parameters resumed. However, the industry has been told that it can only move to this phase a minimum of two weeks after publication of the updated guidance for the sector on 28 May, which means that tomorrow (11 June) is the earliest that there could be an update on when sites might be able to open.

The Environment Agency (EA) has published a Regulatory Position Statement allowing operators who hold environmental permits to temporarily store more waste than their permit allows, provided that they can demonstrate a need due to covid-19 restrictions and that the wastes being stored are authorised under the permit.

As the country continues to move out of lockdown with more businesses re-opening offices and other premises, Build UK Trade Association member, the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), has produced guidance which includes information for building owners, landlords and tenants on reactivating buildings to get them safely back online.

Construction workers requiring accommodation whilst working away from home can find over 37,000 beds across the UK and Ireland via Build UK’s repurposed Open Doors website.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK