Essential repairs and home moves ‘can continue during lockdown’
Construction and other essential work can continue following yesterday’s lockdown announcement by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
From midnight on January 4, people in Level 4 areas of Scotland will only be permitted to leave home for essential purposes.
None of the new COVID-19 restrictions announced change current rules, but the First Minister will be meeting with business and union reps over to consider “if more regulatory action is required”.
This means that construction activity is permitted to continue during the latest lockdown but Level 4 rules still apply in the mainland where tradespeople should only go into a house to carry out or deliver essential work or services.
Examples include utility safety checks, repairs, maintenance and installations and the carrying out of repairs and maintenance that would otherwise threaten the household’s health and safety.
For outdoor workplaces during lockdown, construction and manufacturing can remain open, but employers should plan for the “minimum number of people needed on-site to operate safely and effectively”.
The First Minister said: “There is a balance to be struck here. In terms of business, we are not, as of now, in quite as restrictive a position in terms of non-essential work in construction and manufacturing, for example, being closed as we were back in March.
“But this is something we need to keep under review – both in terms of the spread of the virus, but also that really important relationship, which I do understand, between people’s requirement to work and ability to look after children.”
The Scottish Government guidance also includes moving home as a reasonable excuse for someone to leave their residence.
The guidance reads it is acceptable to leave home “for activities in connection with moving home (including viewing a property), or for activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for.”
The guidance adds: “Travelling for the purposes of undertaking essential work on a property other than your main residence should not be used as a pretext for a holiday.
“You should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work.”
The new lockdown rules will be in place until at least the end of January.