Industry leaders have called for acceleration of rules relaxing requirements for Covid-19 self-isolation for double-vaccinated workers.
On August 16 the regulations on self-isolation will be relaxed across the economy, when anyone who has been double-jabbed will be able to continue to work if they are notified that they have been a contact of someone that has Covid-19.
But ahead of the change, construction businesses from merchants to manufacturers and consultants to contractors are being severely hampered as staff are having to stay home after being identified as a contact of a Covid-19 case, even if they are fully vaccinated. The issue is further exacerbating existing difficult trading due to materials and staff shortages.
The Construction Leadership Council proposes that the 16 August relaxation be brought forward as soon as is possible, saying the move would incentivise workers to get vaccinated, while alleviating pressures on the delivery of vital construction projects and maintenance of national infrastructure.
Such a move would mean construction workers could instead be tested daily, joining the ranks of the emergency services and other critical workers who would otherwise need to self-isolate if pinged.
CLC co-chair Andy Mitchell said: “We have reports from across the industry of plants, sites and offices having to wind down activities as staff have been asked to isolate. This is putting very significant pressure on the sector, risking project delivery and even the viability of some firms.
“Where staff are already fully vaccinated, and recognising that such people will be free to work from 16 August anyway, we are asking the government to bring forward this date for essential industries like construction, ensuring that the industry doesn’t grind to a halt.”