Nicola Sturgeon gives green light for construction industry reopening

Construction sites across Scotland can now restart work that was abandoned at the start of the lockdown.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced today that the construction industry in Scotland is able to move into the next stage of its reopening plan.

Speaking at her daily briefing, the First Minister said the construction sector was always expected to move to the next stage during the first phase, insisting that that it did not constitute a change to the Scottish Government’s route map.

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Workers will now gradually be able to return to construction sites, while hand hygiene and social distancing measures are adhered to.

Construction sites across Scotland can now restart work that was abandoned at the start of the lockdown.

It comes as the First Minister told the briefing that the reproduction rate of the virus, known as the R number, is between 0.6 and 0.8 in Scotland as of last Friday, having dropped from the previous week.

Despite the announcement, the First Minister said there was still “a long way to go” until construction is back to normal.

Ms Sturgeon also announced an extension of the Scottish Government’s help-to-buy scheme.

The initiative, which provides up to 15% of the price of buying a new-build house, was due to end in March next year but has now been extended to March 2022.

At today’s briefing, the First Minister confirmed that five more people had died from coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

It brings the total death toll of people who tested positive for Covid-19 to 2,439.

Confirmed cases of the virus have now reached 15,682, an increase of 17 on the day before.

The number of patients in hospital with confirmed or suspected coronavirus stands at 909 - 78 fewer than yesterday.

21 people are now being treated for the virus in Scotland’s intensive care units, and since March 5, 3,858 people treated in hospital for Covid-19 have recovered and been discharged.

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