Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today revealed her government’s plans to loosen restrictions on lockdown, with a five-point, phased road map.
Scotland is currently in full lockdown and its housing market is unable to properly function.
It now appears that it might be as far away as August before ‘normality’ returns to the property scene in this part of the United Kingdom.
Phase 1, which is due to start on 28th May, will enable Scots to begin to see family and friends in outdoor spaces, workplaces to re-open but only where home working is not possible, and for people to make short journeys.
This period will be used for ‘preparing’ for the reopening of the housing market and the Scottish government says it will work with the property industry on the relaxation of restrictions on house moves, which will begin during Phase 2 of the plan.
Phas 2 will begin on or after June 18th.
During both Phase 1 and 2 there will be a limited re-opening of schools and house builders will also be able to resume their construction activities.
According to the roadmap non-essential indoor office workplaces such as estate agency branches will only be allowed to re-open during Phase 3, which is likely to begin on August 11th.
The Scottish government warns that the progress of the road map is subject to the ‘R’ rate of infection remaining below 1.
Robin Blacklock, Chair of the Scottish Property Federation, commented:
“We welcome these steps towards re-starting our economy, but there are still considerable questions to be asked of government around the pace and processes for construction sites to reopen.
“We need to see published guidance on the steps contractors and developers need to be making now, in order to integrate these into the plans already being made for a safe and gradual return to work.
“We also note the difference between outdoor and indoor working and there are examples where key indoor work may be done safely in line with COVID-19 safety operating procedures.
“These works will include fit-out operations for businesses and retailers that will be necessary for their successful reintroduction to the economy as the route map unfolds.”