UK construction reboots despite lockdown extension

Major British housebuilder Redrow has announced it will start reopening its sites in May. The move comes just days after rival firms, including Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Vistry, took similar action.

Redrow halted construction work on its sites on 27 March, to limit the spread of Covid-19. Following the lockdown, the company’s CEO John Tutte said he did not expect to see a return to construction work before July.

It is now reported that sites will reopen on 18 May, following a week of mobilisation. Redrow says it will not commence construction work until it is satisfied that it can meet the government’s recommendations on social distancing.

John Tutte said, “I am grateful to my colleagues and our supply chain partners for the exceptional work they continue to undertake to ensure we can make a measured, responsible and safe return to work next month.”

On the day of Redrow’s announcement, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the country this is the “moment of maximum risk”.

Having recovered from a dangerously severe case of Covid-19 himself, he said he refused to “throw away” the public’s “effort and sacrifice” by relaxing the lockdown too soon.

However, construction in the UK was exempted from the lockdown measures, with companies told by the government that they could continue to work if they could ensure staff safety.