Many in the Construction Sector will welcome the announcement from the First Minister yesterday (18 June) that as of Monday next, the sector can move to Phase 3 of the six phase re-start model agreed with the sector and backed by Construction Scotland and the Covid-19 Construction Forum.

Moving to Phase 3 means that the industry will transition from the Phase 2 ‘soft start‘ to a ‘steady state operation (only where physical distancing can be maintained)’. This should mean that, hopefully, the sector can get on with most of its work. While much emphasis has been placed on the work on medium /large scale projects, it is important to note that smaller scale works, for example, in connection with domestic premises can now be undertaken provided the rules re social distancing, hygiene etc are followed. Excellent practical guidance is available from the Construction Scotland website.

The First Minister made clear, however, that movement to phase 4 and beyond would be subject to ongoing consultation with the Scottish government.

The remaining phases have been characterised as follows:

  • Phase 4: Steady state operation (where physical distancing can be maintained and/or with PPE use)
  • Phase 5: Increasing Density/productivity with experience

A decision on movement to Phases 4 and 5 is likely to be influenced by the experience of the sector in phase 3 and the effects of the more general relaxation of lockdown restrictions which are being announced for the population as a whole.