THE construction industry has been significantly affected by the new lockdown measures introduced by the government on Wednesday, January 6.
Non-essential construction will cease from this Friday, January 8 at 6pm. However, essential construction projects which include repairs and critical maintenance for rail and roads, housing adaptation grants, health projects specific to Covid-19, social housing construction, and major foreign direct investment projections for exporting will all be exempt. Sole traders such as plumbers will also be able to work on an emergency call-out basis.
Cork developer Michael O’Flynn of O’Flynn Construction is disappointed activities within the construction industry sector will have to cease, but he understands why the government has been required to take these measures.
Mr O’Flynn expressed his surprise that some forms of construction work were exempt following the latest lockdown measures announced.
“It is strange that they are picking and choosing rather than having a blanket stoppage on construction and all types of housing. I am surprised that any form of construction is being allowed. If one form of house building has to stop I’m surprised that any form of house building is being allowed. Private housing which includes social housing is not an essential service while social housing on its own is. If social housing is safe, I fail to see how social housing on a private scheme isn’t safe.”
The situation will be reviewed before the end of January before another decision will be made with regards to the merits of the construction industry re-opening in February. Mr O’Flynn hopes the construction industry will resume once again after the three week period.
“It is a sensible period of time, unlike the last time. We hope it will stop at that. A lot of these stoppages in the past have been extended. Three weeks won’t be the end of the world. However, if this period of time is extended it will be massively problematic for people who have committed to buying a house and have giving notices with regards to tenancies. There is the potential for a huge knock-on effect."