Published 15 July 2021
The construction sector has faced significant challenges during the pandemic and we should be very proud of the way our people and projects have dealt with the restrictions imposed over the last 18 months. The CLC Site Operating Procedures and Branch Operating Procedures have played an essential role in enabling the industry to continue working safely throughout the various lockdowns and their adoption on over 99% of sites ensured consistency across the supply chain.
The Site Operating Procedures and Branch Operating Procedures have always reflected the latest Government guidance. Whilst COVID-19 remains widespread across the UK and will need to be managed for some time to come, the lifting of the remaining legal restrictions, including social distancing requirements, from 19 July 2021 means the CLC guidance will no longer be current.
As such, the Site Operating Procedures and the Branch Operating Procedures will remain available as reference documents from 19 July 2021.
The Use of Face Coverings in Construction has been updated in line with the latest Government guidance that face coverings should be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces when people mix with others they don’t normally meet.
Whilst it would be inappropriate for the CLC to seek to impose on the industry any requirements over and above those set out by the Government, we recognise that businesses across the supply chain have welcomed the consistency that the CLC guidance has provided. They may choose, or be asked, to maintain elements of social distancing for the time being, in which case the Site Operating Procedures and Branch Operating Procedures should continue to be followed.
The CLC guidance may also assist in carrying out risk assessments as working arrangements are reviewed and revised, and the CLC would advise that any changes to social distancing measures are discussed with the workforce.
The Site Operating Procedures and Branch Operating Procedures have helped the industry to adopt some good practices over the last 18 months, including more organised sites, enhanced welfare facilities, increased ventilation and improved communication with the workforce, which the CLC would strongly recommend are retained.
The requirement for close contacts of people in England who have tested positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate will remain in place until 16 August 2021. From that date onwards, close contacts will not have to self-isolate if they have received both doses of the vaccine or are under 18. They will be advised to get a PCR test and if it is positive then they will still need to self-isolate for 10 days.
This statement from the CLC relates to England. National guidance on restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be adhered to as appropriate.