Construction workers 'should be actively encouraged to go to work', says PM

LAST night (Sunday 10 May), the Prime Minister delivered a speech updating the UK on the government's position on the lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

He announced that those who are not able to work from home, explicitly citing those in the construction sector as an example, 'should be actively encouraged to go to work' as long as it was safe and the workers were able to avoid public transport.

Durnig the address, the Prime Minister also announced that the Government would look into re-opening schools for children of certain age groups from June, and that from Wednesday the rules of only being allowed outside for one hour of exercise per day were to be relaxed from this Wednesday.

Under previous guidance, UK construction companies have not been required to close so far. Yet the Prime Minister's speech is the most high-profile endorsement of such businesses returning to work so far.

However, the Prime Minister has come under fire for the address, with some critics calling the guidance 'vague'.

The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all distanced themselves from Boris Johnson's new 'Stay Alert' message, insisting 'Stay At Home' should be the overriding message to the public.

In Scotland, where non-essential construction work remains banned, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said after the Prime Minister's address: “I think it is incumbent on him to stress that when he is talking about lifting these restrictions […] he is talking for England.”

More details of the Government's lockdown recovery plan are expected when the government releases guidance later today.

Politics; coronavirus; Prime Minister; Boris Johnson; COVID19;
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