The Scottish Government decided that construction and its supply chain was not an essential industry. Building sites had to close except if work was essential in fighting coronavirus. Normal
housing & commercial projects had to stop by law. Unless activity fell into narrowly-defined critical industries, merchants were not allowed to serve non-essential customers.
The BMF quickly began to collaborate with CICV colleagues to find ways round common problems - e.g. the correct PPE - before the phased return to work began. The CICV was in routine contact with the Scottish Government to monitor the impact of Covid throughout the pandemic.
Two notable BMF achievements:
- we were the first to find discrepancies between public health regulations and official guidance. Guidance was only guidance, not backed up in law. We helped merchants to open and operate click & collect and deliver-to-site services safely, without fear of enforcement being taken;
- we successfully argued that emergency works and essential repairs & maintenance to private homes, commercial property and other buildings should continue - and merchants were vital in supporting such activities.
The BMF supported its members with regular advice & guidance - as restrictions were tightened or eased - to help them manage & mitigate risk, uphold physical distancing and other safeguards.