Builders across the UK said they felt “ angry and unprotected ” as they continued to work on busy construction sites on the first day of the national coronavirus shutdown.
The government has been under pressure to urgently clarify who he considers a “key worker” after the British have woken up in a state of confusion as to who is allowed to leave his home.
Many construction workers work close to each other in environments where social distancing is impossible.
Some said that they had received “no indication” of what was going on with their work.
Non-essential delivery drivers were also on the road today, with the John Lewis, H&M, Debenhams and Boux Avenue street chains all maintaining normal service.
Last night, in his historic speech to the nation, Boris Johnson ordered the public to stay at home unless travel to work is “absolutely necessary”.
He was wrapped in an emergency package of draconian measures to keep people inside to stem the tide of coronavirus infection, which threatens to overwhelm the NHS.
However, the Prime Minister’s room for maneuver over who was allowed to travel was seized by many workers who continued to go to work this morning.
Responding to claims that the details of the foreclosure were “murky,” Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said, “It is true that construction must continue on the sites.
“Obviously people have to be sensitive and common sense and follow social distancing measures. But the work carried out outdoors can continue. ”
Still, footage from the first day of foreclosure showed that construction workers were gathering at the sites, brazenly flouting social distancing guidelines.
And Nicola Sturgeon and Sadiq Khan fueled the confusion by advising construction workers to stay at home.
The call to Downing Street to clear up the confusion came as follows:
- Britain was put under new draconian measures that included exercise outside once a day, social gatherings of more than two people prohibited and non-essential movement prohibited, with the police having the power to slap offenders with fines;
- Londoners continued to cram into wagons of metro cars during rush hour this morning, with union leaders calling on Sadiq Khan to take control of the capital’s public transport;
- Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt demanded that more NHS workers be tested for the coronavirus, which has killed 335 people in the UK;
- Supermarket websites crashed and delivery slots were booked for weeks as the foreclosure began;
- Sports Direct insisted it was providing an essential service and tried to open its stores, but was forced to turn around under pressure from the government;
- The FTSE 100 opened 4% as investors appeared to have confidence in the Prime Minister’s actions.
Construction workers at a construction site on Hanover Square were photographed operating nearby, causing their heads to creak as to why they continued to work
Construction workers wearing masks seen through security fence work at a site near London Bridge in London this afternoon
Builders stand to chat nearby at a building site in Wandsworth, south-west London, this morning
Construction workers at the Sunnybank site where new apartments are being built on Lower London Road, Edinburgh, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson locked the UK
Images from the first day of locked Britain showing construction workers huddling together at sites, brazenly flouting the social distance directive (workers are photographed near Regents Street)
NHS doctor exposes crisis
A junior medical practitioner made a moving appeal to members of the public today as she urged them to stay indoors and “prevent other preventable deaths”.
Dr Katie Sanderson, a junior acute medicine doctor at a London hospital, begged listeners to ‘stop and think before they leave home’ while speaking on BBC Radio 4 this morning.
The 32-year-old woman told the show that she was “ reduced to tears in the work balls ” after seeing photos of “ huge crowds on Clapham Common and Highbury Fields ” and people lining up “ safely ” in the country.
Dr. Sanderson said she is now forced to ask coronavirus patients and their loved ones if they “want to die in the hospital or at home.”
She told MailOnline, “I am 32 years old and have colleagues in my intensive care unit in their 30s. A 28 year old friend told me that he had made his will.
“Really, really, take this seriously. I have heard people say, “I want to catch a coronavirus to be immunized.” It does not work like that.
“If you don’t take this seriously, you condemn someone to potentially die with a nurse he doesn’t know, because we don’t allow visitors to hospitals. That, or die at home.
“It is reality.”
Construction workers said they were afraid of catching the virus and taking it home, but added that they had no choice because if they did not show up, they risk losing their jobs and not get paid.
A crane operator on a London construction site with 400-500 workers said: “Everyone on the site feels angry and unprotected.
He said staff had received no indication of what was going on, other than “continue until it is otherwise”.
The man, who asked not to be named, said that if he chose not to enter, he “would not be paid or could even lose my job”.
‘(It’s) really scary – I have a family and children at home. I am in London with all these people who bring everything back to an isolated house.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the Scottish Prime Minister for construction sites: “My advice would be to close”.
The Mayor of London echoed these feelings and said: “I have been concerned about the mixed messages and the lack of clarity.”
He added, “The only people who should leave the house are the people who are essential to take care of us.
“In my opinion, the only construction workers who should work are those who are necessary for safety.”
Builder Taylor Wimpey said it had closed construction sites, showing homes and retail sites after the Prime Minister’s television statement.
The company said it has a “large order book and a long-term quality property bank,” which gives it increased resilience.
While competitor Redrow said its sites remain open with “strict precautions in place, including improved cleaning levels, additional hygiene facilities and social distancing.”
Construction workers work near the Excel Center in London’s Docklands as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues
Construction workers at work at the City North development site in Finsbury Park, London this afternoon. Many are seen working together despite the rules of social distancing
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan urged ministers not to clarify the emergency rules.
As the cameras turned to a busy scaffolding site in East London, the broadcaster said: “ Why is the government so inconsistent, confused, sending mixed messages, why are they not on a best page with this stuff? ”
Shortly after the ITV exposure at the construction site, construction pretended that workers had lowered the tools.
By roasting Mr. Gove, Morgan said many manufacturers would go to their sites by public transit, but the minister said he thought they would use other methods to get to work.
However, the London Underground was crowded with passengers during the morning rush hour, triggering new calls for the government to detail who is allowed to leave their homes.
Chaotic scenes led the TSSA transport union to demand that police be deployed to stations to ensure that only key workers can get on the trains.
He threatened to withdraw unless identity checks are immediately started to avoid a repeat of this morning’s “dangerous” conditions.
But the scope of who falls into the category of “key workers” is not yet clear.
Sports Direct asked their staff to open stores today, owner Mike Ashley insisting that they were providing an essential service.
But Mr. Gove later revealed that Sports Direct had been asked to close their branches, and suggestions that this was a vital outlet were “wrong”.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the fictitious secretary of labor, praised the government for taking steps to shut down Sports Direct, but weighed in on “ confusion over what is classified as essential work ”.
Management’s hope told BBC Radio 4: “ There is a lack of clarity in other workplaces such as warehouses and online orders beyond the scope of food and items essential and the government must provide urgent clarity on this matter.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said construction workers should not continue working
London Underground was still crowded with passengers during rush hour, and Sadiq Khan was asked to take control of transport in the capital
London was much quieter (Westminster Bridge in the photo), but many were still traveling for work
Boris Johnson in his historic speech to the nation last night ordered the public to stay at home unless travel to work is “absolutely necessary”
Tfl staff demand that Sadiq Khan take control of the public transport farce
Unions today called on police to monitor all major stations and check IDs to ensure that only key coronavirus workers travel amid chaotic scenes in the capital where “ dangerous ” trains for health ” were struck despite the unprecedented foreclosure of British society.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan sparked anger by accusing commuters of flouting the ban on “ all non-essential travel ” and said they should avoid rush hour hours “ to save lives ” ‘- but said he did not have enough staff to increase services and maintain any semblance of social distancing on public transport.
A few hours after Boris Johnson said that almost all Britons should stay at home in the most draconian stop in modern history, people were face to face on the subway, trains and buses despite the fact that they are told to be two meters apart to avoid catching a coronavirus, which has left 335 dead so far.
But the TSSA transport union today called for police to be deployed to ensure that only key workers get on the trains when metro staff can exit unless identity checks begin immediately. due to the “ dangerous ” conditions at London stations.
“There must be a narrowly defined list of essential jobs and these essential workplaces must perform an essential function throughout this crisis.”
When the government closed schools last week, it released a list of key workers who should continue to send their children to class.
They included people in health services, education, key public services, local and national governments, food services, national security, transportation and public services.
Construction workers were not included in this list, and MailOnline approached Downing Street to clarify if a new list would be published to clear up the confusion.
It was unclear whether the non-food delivery drivers who continued to work today were supposed to be on the road after the government ordered the closure of all non-essential stores.
But the high street giants Topshop, Currys PC World and Next assure customers that their online activities remain open, with all home deliveries and returns now free.
Chains like John Lewis, H&M, Debenhams and Boux Avenue also maintain all normal delivery services.
Amazon says it is “working 24 hours a day to continue increasing customer order delivery capacity.”
But concerns have been raised that the removal of minimum online spending and the offer of free delivery could expose drivers to delivering non-food items at unnecessary risk.
Many stores are also continuing to sell online, raising fears of a new influx of orders and shipments.
Currys PC World also angered social media users who accused the channel of failing to prioritize people’s health by keeping stores open.
Other elements of the Prime Minister’s unprecedented closure were also identified due to a lack of details.
Sir Peter Fahy, the former Greater Manchester Police Constable, said that “there are a lot of clarifications needed” on the tighter rules on the movement of people during the coronavirus crisis.
He believes that clear contours are needed on a range of issues such as who is vulnerable and what counts as exercise.
He told BBC Breakfast: “ There is really no way the police can enforce this using powers, it must be because the public is so supportive, there is peer pressure and that the government continue to clarify the message and pass all the individual scenarios and questions that people will have about what is going on in this situation.
“It looks like in the next few days we will need a period of implementation, but the bottom line is that the public accepts that this is absolutely vital for saving lives.”
Gove did not refute accusations that the government’s messages were in disarray when he was forced to back down on his advice to divorced parents.
During his morning broadcast, he told Susanna Reid of GMB that children of separated parents should stay with the parent they currently live with.
But he then backed off on the BBC and confirmed that those under 18 would be able to move between the parents.
WHO IS A KEY WORKER?
Below is a list of key workers designated by the government when the schools closed last week.
Health and social assistance
Doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, social workers and other front-line health and social care workers, including volunteers
Support and specialist staff needed to maintain the UK health and social services sector
Those who are part of the health care and social services supply chain, including producers and distributors of drugs and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes child care, support and teaching staff, social workers and special education professionals.
Key public services
Those essential to the functioning of the justice system, religious personnel, charities and workers providing key front-line services, those responsible for the management of the deceased and the journalists and broadcasters who provide public service broadcasting .
Local and national government
This includes only administrative positions essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or the provision of essential public services, such as payment for benefits, including in government agencies and independent bodies.
Food and other necessities
This includes those involved in the production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery of food, as well as those essential to the supply of other key products.
Public and national security security
This includes police and support personnel, civilians from the Ministry of Defense, personnel from contractors and the armed forces, fire and rescue workers, staff from the National Combat Agency crime, border security officials, prison and probation staff and other national security functions, including those abroad.
This includes those who will keep the air, marine, road and rail modes of passenger and freight operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on the transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Public services, communication and financial services
This includes personnel required to provide essential financial services, the information technology and data infrastructure sector of the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors and supplies primary industry to continue during COVID-19 response.
Key personnel working in civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications, postal and delivery services, payment service providers and waste disposal.