Lockdown statement from CFA president: Hamish MacGregor (MacGregor Flooring Company Limited)
A statement from Hamish MacGregor, CFA president, regarding the latest lockdown: Transmission rates are now the key and I cannot stress enough that while Construction and Contract Flooring remains open, we MUST focus on the Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) and how we apply them to play our part in maintaining the opportunity to work.
On Monday evening, 4 January, the Prime Minister announced that the country needed to enter a second national lockdown. This was supported across the four nations and became law in the early hours of Wednesday morning 6 January.
While our children must once again return to learning from home and we must generally make every effort to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, construction and contract flooring can currently continue. The flooring supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution is also open for business under Covid-19 secure guidelines.
The CFA brings regular updates to members on Covid-19 through our blog including information for the devolved nations and links to the full government guidance. We also have useful templates such as a “Travel to Work Authorisation Letter” that may prove valuable if a worker is stopped by the police and asked to justify their journey. Our template has recently been reviewed and remains relevant.
Hotels remain open to support the industry. However, I must take this opportunity to stress that we cannot rest on our laurels and must make every effort to take all precautions possible to avoid catching this awful virus. Transmission rates are critical, and we have it on good authority that the Government is now monitoring construction very closely to ensure that it remains possible to operate safely.
In practical terms this means that we MUST follow the guidelines outlined in the Safe Operating Procedures (SOP). A new version (SOP V7) is expected by the end of this week and will be uploaded to the CFA website and blog here under “Quick Links.” Face to face training has unfortunately been forced to close as one of the new measures to help protect the NHS and save lives.
This has meant suspending training at FITA in Loughborough, and the FITA training centre in Kirkcaldy Scotland (provided by Forbo Flooring) also remains closed under local restrictions. Like many businesses, at the CFA we have also reviewed our own operating procedures and, while our offices remain open for a limited number of staff, working from home is being encouraged wherever possible.
Tradespeople working in people’s homes is still currently permitted in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but in Scotland this is limited to “essential” work only. Carpet shops must close, as must all showrooms, given that public browsing is not permitted. Transmission rates are now the key and I cannot stress enough that whilst Construction and Contract Flooring remains open, we MUST focus on the Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) and how we apply them to play our part in maintaining the opportunity to work.
This situation is not entirely in our hands, but we can make a difference. It is not going to be easy and the CFA will ensure we provide the latest relevant information and updates for our sector as we move through this new phase of the fight against Coronavirus. If you have any questions or need support, please contact the CFA offices on 01159411126 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For latest information and updates visit the CFA website at www.cfa.org.uk and click through on the coronavirus banner to our blog.