Housebuilders Bellway and Persimmon are shutting construction sites despite being allowed to stay open amid the lockdown to help protect workers from coronavirus.
Newcastle-headquartered Bellway said it was closing its 200 building sites by the end of Friday, with site managers only allowed onto developments to maintain security or to hand over keys to buyers.
Charles Church builder Persimmon confirmed it is also starting an “orderly shutdown” of its construction sites.
It said it would continue with essential work only, making partly-built homes safe, where otherwise customers could be left in a vulnerable position.
“We weren’t convinced we could police the social distancing or keep workers two metres apart at sites,” a statement said.
Bellway has already shut its sales offices and Persimmon is closing its sales network from Thursday, offering telephone and online-only customer support.
Bellway chief executive Jason Honeyman said the decision to shut its construction sites in spite of being exempt from the Government-imposed lockdown came as a result of fears for worker safety.
He said: “We weren’t convinced we could police the social distancing or keep workers two metres apart at sites.
“There’s always some people who ignore it.”
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