Can construction work continue in new England lockdown?

4 January 2021, 16:53 | Updated: 5 January 2021, 13:24

Construction sites will remain open under the new national lockdown
Construction sites will remain open under the new national lockdown. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown for England in the face of rising numbers of coronavirus infections.

In a televised address to the nation on Monday night, the Prime Minister told the nation to stay indoors other than for limited exceptions, with measures expected to last until mid-February.

Mr Johnson said the new variant, which is up to 70 per cent more transmissible, was spreading in a "frustrating and alarming" manner, and warned the number of Covid patients in English hospitals is 40 per cent higher than the first peak.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson confirms tougher new Covid-19 measures will be announced soon

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But what does the Prime Minister’s announcement mean for the construction industry?

The construction industry will remain open, with government guidelines stating "people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing... should continue to travel to their workplace".

Announcing a new national lockdown for Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also said the construction industry would remain open, however she added this would be kept under review.

In areas previously under the highest Tier 4 level of coronavirus restrictions in England, work had been able to continue at construction sites, and they were also allowed to stay open throughout the country’s November lockdown.

However when the first national lockdown was announced in March, many sites shut their gates and projects were put on hold as the Government was accused of failing to offer clear guidance.