September 27, 2021

NFB calls on Government to bring forward changes to self-isolation rules

The National Federation of Builders has written to the Secretary of State for Health to ask that the changes to the self-isolation rules for double vaccinated Covid-negative people, due for implementation on 16th August, are brought forward to the earliest possible opportunity. This is to stop the risk of a collapse in the construction supply chain due to self-isolation of Covid-negative people.

The request comes as the Government has confirmed that construction workers will not be included in the exempt worker list of those able to continue working if they are double-jabbed.

In the first week of July over half a million people were ‘pinged’ and data released this week shows that in the second week of July almost 610,000 people were self-isolating in England for the same reason – all before the step 4 changes were brought in on 19th July. The NFB is warning that the figure will only continue to grow with the removal of gathering limits, mandatory social distancing and face mask usage, if the self-isolation rules are not appropriately changed.

Commenting, Richard Beresford, CEO of the NFB, said: “We are receiving numerous reports on a daily basis of members who are struggling to keep construction working. Every member we have spoken to has Covid-negative staff isolating, some have had to shut sites due to a site managers or other key staff being pinged and no replacements available. One member said they had half their office staff sent home and many have reported projects delayed and overrunning because of a lack of subcontractors due to self-isolation.

“It also appears that the difficulties in the supply chain, such as the shortage of drivers, are being further compounded by this issue and there is now a real risk that the supply chain will collapse if we continue this trajectory until mid-August.

“The Government needs to act to make sure its self-isolation rules are in line with the progress made by the vaccination programme and reflect the opening up of society. It must bring forward the changes to self-isolation rules as soon as possible.”

NFB members can access the letter sent to the Secretary of State by logging into the NFB member’s area here: www.builders.org.uk/my-nfb/covid19-guidance/.