Construction sector given green light to move to Phase 3 of restart plan

Scotland’s construction sector can move into the next phase of its restart plan from Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

With the sector currently in Phase 2 of the six-step phased model, which enabled a ‘soft start’ to site works, Phase 3 allows for ‘steady state operation’ where physical distancing can be maintained.

The sector can then move through the remaining phases “subject to ongoing consultation with government”, Ms Sturgeon added yesterday.

Also from Monday, accommodation can be provided for workers whose workplaces are open in the relevant phase and who need to stay away from home for work.

Indoor work places which have opted to remain closed, such as factories and warehouses, will be able to open in line with guidance and safety restrictions from June 29, but non-essential offices should remain closed at this stage. Restrictions on moving house will also be lifted on this day.

As Scotland moves through this second phase, public services will continue to resume and scale-up, including services such as visiting support to Housing First Tenants and the resumption of area-based energy efficiency schemes. Planning with COSLA and partners will also begin to support and, if needed, review social care and care home services.

A phased reopening of the lockdown restrictions in the construction sector began on May 29 when site preparation work was permitted as part of early stages of the six-step phased model developed by Construction Scotland. A move to Phase 2 was then announced last week.

The industry-agreed model for the return of construction work is:

  • Phase 0: Planning
  • Phase 1: COVID-19 Pre-start Site prep
  • Phase 2: ‘Soft start’ to site works (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 3: Steady state operation (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 4: Steady state operation (where physical distancing can be maintained and/or with PPE use)
  • Phase 5: Increasing density/productivity with experience.

Speaking to the Scottish Parliament yesterday, the First Minister said Scotland is ready to move to the second phase of its four-step plan to ease out of lockdown due to the “clear and substantial” progress made in suppressing the virus.

Ms Sturgeon said: “From Monday 22 June, the construction sector will be able to move to the next phase its restart plan and then move through the remaining phases subject to ongoing consultation with government.”

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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