Scotland intends to open up Construction and Housing Market when it is time

Yesterday Scottish Government established a route map out of the current lockdown restrictions. The strategic plan details a number of phases that Scotland will implement when it is considered safe to do so.

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, states:

“As I said last week, we can’t live this way forever. We all want to get back to some semblance of normality”

“This document sets out the steps that will take us there. It doesn’t have all the answers and it doesn’t set exact timescales.”

“So we are setting out the phases by which we will aim to ease lockdown. They are gradual and incremental and will be matched with careful monitoring of the virus.”

In the phased approached to varying restrictions the Scottish Government state:

“We are also planning for the construction sector to implement the first two phases in its restart plan with a decision to move to ‘phase 2’ of the construction sector’s plan only after consulting with government to ensure it is safe to do so in line with public health advice.” AND; “We are preparing for the safe reopening of the housing market.”

Construction sectors plan

Nicola Sturgeon also states:

“As an example of that we will be publishing guidance in the coming days for key sectors of the economy. This will allow employers and employees to work together and prepare for starting work again. We will also publish guidance on travel and public transport.”

Elmhurst note that this mirrors the way that Westminster departments issued their own sector guidance following the Prime Minister's announcement to ease some lockdown measures in England. The guidance was specifically about working safely on building sites, in offices and in people’s homes.

The Strategy

Phase 1:

  • Construction – Phases 0-2 of industry restart plan can be implemented. Industry to consult government before progressing to phase 2.)
  • Preparing for the safe reopening of the housing market

Phase 2 indicates

  • Construction sector to implement remaining stages of phased return.
  • Relaxation of restrictions on housing moves.

Stuart Fairlie, Technical and Operations Director at Elmhurst, comments: “We welcome the plan from Scottish Government. We all agree that health is the number one priority, and that the message in Scotland has been clear; to stay safe and at home. This new strategy clearly has construction and the housing market singled out as returning to work through phases 1 and 2. We welcome the news, but also we want to make sure that our members use any time they have in working through their own plans, on how they can return to some kind of work in the built environment in a safe manner. Last week we issued some good practice guidance on how to work safely when undertaking energy assessments in buildings. Ultimately, when given the green light by Scottish Government, it will always be down to individuals and business to decide when it is right for them to return. We will keep our members informed of any new guidance issued and until then please stay safe and well.”

Link to Government Publication:

Elmhurst's Good Practice guidance available here.

Article published: 22/05/2020

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