Mace has started to reopen some of its construction sites from 7 April after a week-long temporary halting of work on site.
Mace Group CEO Mark Reynolds said: “Guidance from the prime minister and his cabinet has been clear that construction is a vital element of the UK economy that will be critical in our recovery from this crisis – and that where we can open sites in accordance with the Construction Leadership Council’s Standard Operating Procedures, we should do so as soon as possible.
“It is now clear that restrictions around social distancing is likely to be in place for many months and so construction must find a way to work safely. If we do not, we will be unable to support the UK’s economic recovery. Following Mace’s temporary suspension of construction work across our UK projects on Tuesday 24 March, the Mace Group board has announced today (6.4.20) that we will begin a progressive reopening of some of our construction projects from the morning of Tuesday 7 April.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone who works on our sites is our first priority. We have made it clear that we would not reopen our construction projects until we were satisfied that it was safe to do so. During this period, there have been ongoing critical works on a number of projects that have allowed us to test and develop our procedures for a wider opening.”
Reynolds said that Mace was working closely with its clients and supply chain to make the reopening programme a success. “The Mace Group board, our construction leadership teams and our project teams will be taking personal responsibility for ensuring that guidance is strictly followed. If it is not, we will close sites immediately,” said Reynolds.
It will be interesting to see if the move by Mace leads to other firms reopening their sites and what effect this has on the construction sector more widely getting back to work where projects have been halted. The government has been keen to stress the importance of infrastructure in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery plans for the nation, but with the Scottish government announcing this week that all non-essential construction work should cease there, there continue to be mixed messages north and south of the border.