The Prime Minister’s anticipated update on whether the country’s lockdown measures to stop the spread of coronavirus would be eased saw the “stay at home” slogan changed to “stay alert”.
Workers were encouraged to return to their jobs if they were unable to work remotely but staying two metres apart remains a top priority.
“We said that you should work from home if you can, and only go to work if you must,” said Johnson.
“We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.”
Construction had not been banned under the original lockdown measures but many builders had closed sites in response to the social distancing measures.
At the end of March, close to 2,000 building sites, accounting for 65 per cent of the value of all work under construction at the time, had been suspended according to data provider Glenigan.
But in recent weeks, housebuilders have restarted construction. Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon both opened sites and the Home Builders Federation said more builders had already put in place back to work plans which would roll out over the coming weeks.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “In line with Government guidance, house builders are planning a gradual return to work, in a structured way that ensures the safety of its workforce, stakeholders and the general public.
“The industry sustains hundreds of thousands of people in numerous roles and associated sectors, boosting local economies across the country. A resumption of work will play a major part in helping the economy recover as well as delivering the homes the country needs.”
A 50-page document outlining the full details of the latest lockdown measures is expected to published today.