Construction sites in Jersey are being instructed to close from 6pm on Friday, 3 April, until further notice.
The instruction follows advice from the Medical Officer for Health, as part of Government efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “Our priority is to stop the spread of coronavirus, and the construction industry has its part to play. The payroll co-funding scheme has been extended to cover the industry so that we can support jobs in the sector throughout the crisis.”
The instruction to close applies not only to construction sites, but to all activity across the construction sector as it is defined in the Health and Safety Construction (Jersey) Regulations 2016 *.
A Government permit scheme, which will be launched next week, will enable work to restart, once a business has demonstrated it has the strict procedures in place needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Sites will be categorised, and the granting of permits will be prioritised A, B and C:
- Category A: sites which provide critical national infrastructure and services which keep the Island’s residents and environment safe and secure. These sites and working areas include:
- critical maintenance of sewerage, sea defence, roads, telecommunications, gas, water, harbours and airport, electricity generation and supply;
- emergency maintenance of the public estate including health, education and all publicly-owned assets;
- emergency maintenance of all the parish estates; and
- emergency maintenance of public and private assets that support the Island.
- Category B: sites and services which provide services to the public which can operate safely in accordance with the site operating procedures. They include Les Quennevais School and the Sewage Treatment Works.
- Category C: all other sites and services which are currently operating and can operate safely in accordance with the site operating procedures.
A small number of Category A sites, which are carrying out work vital to Jersey’s infrastructure, are expected to receive permits immediately. They include the refurbishment of Rozel Ward at the Hospital; the repair of the sea wall at St Ouen, which has to be completed before the next spring tide; and the reconstruction of Jersey’s Energy Recovery Facility boiler.
Senator Farnham said: “Medical advice is that only sites providing critical national infrastructure and services which keep the Island’s residents and environment safe and secure should continue, provided that they meet the standards expected.
“It’s accepted that it can be difficult to apply social distancing on building sites, and I would expect the experience derived from these Category A sites to be used to determine the quality and control practices needed for other sites to receive a permit to reopen.”
* Under the Health and Safety Construction (Jersey) Regulations 2016, construction work means any work of construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, maintenance, de-commissioning, demolition or dismantling of any structure, and includes:
- the demolition or dismantling of a structure and the removal from the relevant construction site of any product or waste resulting from the demolition or dismantling
- the assembly of prefabricated elements to form a structure or the disassembly of prefabricated elements which, immediately before such disassembly, formed a structure
- the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air, hydraulic, telecommunications, computer or similar services that are normally fixed to a structure; and
- any work of excavation, landscaping, preparatory work, or site preparation carried out for the purpose of any work or activity referred to in this definition (otherwise than in this sub-paragraph)
The definition does not include the exploration for or extraction of mineral resources or preparatory work relating to the extraction carried out at a place where such exploration or extraction is carried out.
Service means a gas, water, sewerage, communication, or electrical, service or other service, such as a chemical, fuel or refrigerant line.
Structure means any building, steel or reinforced concrete construction, crane, ramp, dock, ship, harbour, tunnel, shaft, bridge, viaduct, waterworks, reservoir, pipe or pipeline (Jersey) Regulations 2016 Construction (whatever it contains or is intended to contain), structural cable, aqueduct, sewer, sewerage works, gasholder, road, airfield, sea defence works, drainage works, earthworks, constructed lagoon, dam, wall, mast, tower, pylon, underground tank, earth-retaining construction, fixed plant, construction designed to preserve or alter any natural feature, and any other similar construction; or any formwork, falsework, scaffold or other construction designed or used to provide support or access during construction work.
Construction site means any place where construction work is being carried out, including areas used for the storage of plant and/or materials.
Government of Jersey News Release.