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Government urged to integrate major construction sites into test and trace

Published

15th June 2020

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has called on the Government to set up COVID-19 testing stations on major construction sites around the UK to ensure any outbreaks are tracked and traced as quickly as possible, enabling construction to bounce back quickly and safely.

The CIOB’s proposal to integrate major British construction sites into the recently launched NHS Test and Trace system, to enable the regular testing of workers without risking further transmission of the virus, comes in the institute’s recent submission to a consultation on COVID-19 recovery by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

CIOB's recommendation on embedded test centres is one of a number of measures proposed by the institute to help get the industry back on its feet as the country recovers from COVID-19. CIOB commented: "The construction industry is set to play a key role in restarting the economy and facilitating national recovery, and it is therefore crucial that the industry receives the support it needs to return to work and cope with the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Thought must be given to the immediate challenges around resuming construction work, as well as the long-term need for a stable pipeline of future work and the retention of the sector’s skills base."

With over 86% of construction sites in England and Wales open, there is a significant opportunity to locate COVID-19 testing stations on – or in close proximity to – some of the UK’s major construction sites.

Eddie Tuttle, Director of Policy, Research & Public Affairs at CIOB, said:

“Construction workers are increasingly returning to sites all around the country. We are urging the Government to fully integrate construction sites into the new NHS Test and Trace System so construction workers won’t need to travel to get regular tests, risking further transmission of the virus in the process. This will help the construction sector – which is a vital part of the UK economy – to get back to full strength with confidence. It will also help improve public trust in the sector, which has been battling to keep essential infrastructure projects moving. Under our proposals the public will be sure that construction is doing everything it can to keep the virus under control.”

 

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