Clarity sought on COVID 19 lockdown

24 Mar 2020

Circular to CIC Member CEOs, CIC Board, CIC Champions, Housing Panel, Health and Safety Committee, Nation and Regional Chairs, Public Affairs Group, Associate Members  


The Chair of the CLC, Andy Mitchell, has been in dialogue with the Cabinet Office since the Prime Minister’s announcement at 8-30pm this evening.  Officials are working to secure the much needed clarification, which may take until the morning, and it is clear that this does not mean that everything must stop – it certainly doesn’t apply to those working in the health services, and utilities operations and maintenance for example.


In the meantime, the CLC Chair has advised the Cabinet Office that the construction industry will come to work tomorrow, to prepare to shut down works safely, whilst awaiting further information. His  interpretation is that this means as a minimum, to do whatever is necessary to leave works in a state that can be safely left for some while, and to secure plant, equipment and materials.  He has also made it clear that this should include the maintaining of site security, the stability of partially constructed structures than could become unstable and potentially dangerous, and the maintenance of systems that would be unsafe to stop (dewatering systems that, if failed, could lead to catastrophic disaster, but there will be other examples). 


We hope that by tomorrow morning there will be a much clearer picture of exactly what can and cannot continue.  The main message is that the PM’s message does not mean “do not go to work regardless of the consequences” as this would be irrational and wrong, and unintended.