New ‘one-metre plus’ rule announced by PM

New ‘one-metre plus’ rule announced by PM

BLOG · BY TTF CEO DAVID HOPKINS · 24 June 2020

After plans to reopen schools fell flat at the start of June, yesterday UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a new push to get the UK back to work with the two metre distancing rule officially relaxed to ‘one-metre plus’. 

This means pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen from Saturday 4 July, providing they adhere to these new COVID Secure guidelines.

There remains concerns about a second wave of infections, however with many businesses unable to economically return to work while maintaining two metre distancing, it was always likely there would be a shift, and comes just as flexible furlough becomes possible for some employees on 1 July 2020.

Whatever the case in your business, whether your people are working onsite or offsite, it is important you take all practical steps to ensure the safety of your employees. The Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures remains useful in principle.

Meanwhile there have been positive signs that the economy is stabilising, with PMI’s in both the UK and Europe on the rise in June. The Manufacturing Sector appears to be leading the charge here, up to 50.1 in June beating expectations. In the construction sector it will be hoped this trend continues, though data is yet to be released.

All in all, it is looking like there is a movement of the UK back to business – but it remains to be seen whether or not we will ‘Build Back Better’, a slogan conspicuously absent in yesterday’s announcement. While TTF continues to advocate for a recovery which makes use of sustainable construction using timber, Rishi Sunak’s economic stimulus package is not expected to arrive until at least next week.

Here at the Timber Trade Federation we continue to advocate for a better future direction across several channels and consultation. The message is consistent. With timber we can build better, more sustainably, and quickly. Next month is likely to see economic activity again jump. It is important we do not lose sight of our long-term goals for short term boosts.

One project I would again like to highlight in this theme, is the Conversations About Climate Change. This is a design competition organised by the TTF and DfID that sets architects, designers, and craftspeople the challenge of creating ‘conversation pieces’ from responsibly sourced tropical timber. Even if it is not your primary business, please do share it.

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