For most of us, 2020 has been a stressful year – for some it’s been a disaster.
None of us has lived through anything quite like this before, but after nine months of Covid-19, curfews, lockdowns, social distancing and the routine wearing of face-masks have all become second-nature.
Back in March, it looked like the sky was going to fall in. Nearly all sites closed and only ‘essential’ work was allowed to continue. But as it turned out, the construction industry adapted to the situation very quickly and remarkably well. The Site Operating Procedures issued by the Construction Leadership Council proved highly effective in allowing work to continue safely.
For some companies, Covid-19 even meant an increase in demand for their services. In this issue of the magazine we speak to one supplier of modular buildings that has been working around the clock to meet demand for Covid-19 test centres.
And the construction of seven emergency ‘Nightingale’ hospitals in the space of just a few weeks demonstrated how quickly and efficiently the construction supply chain could mobilise when required.
The government’s furlough scheme and income support scheme for the self-employed have offered a lifeline to businesses and individuals. But nothing is free – it’ll all have to be paid for eventually. So 2020 was bad; but what will 2021 bring? At the time of writing, the UK had still not agreed a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, which is not good news for the economy.
But let’s look on the bright side: we can now vaccinate against Covid-19. Maybe now we can all get back to work.