Residential construction sites, along with work on childcare facilities, will reopen ahead of the rest of the construction industry.
A four month lockdown was introduced in January to curb the spread of the coronavirus. This included a lockdown on most construction activity, including self-builds, with the exception of work required for essential services.
Only those whose house was nearing completion were allowed to continue building. All other self-build sites ground to a halt, or were unable to start.
DIY stores and builder’s merchants remained open during this time.
The ROI government announced on March 30th 2021 a lifting of the restrictions for house building, with work able to restart as of April 12th 2021.
Early Learning Childcare and School Aged Childcare services are also being added to list of essential services for construction activity, and work on those projects can also recommence as of April 12th.
The rest of the construction industry will reopen on May 4th 2021, “subject to public health guidance”.
Self-builders shared their excitement about restarting their self-builds on social media platforms such as Instagram.
The Construction Industry Federation, meanwhile, quotes a Health and Safety Executive report to state that every week under lockdown “costs 800 homes”.
“Ireland is the only country to shut down its construction industry and this is having a number of unintended consequences that again are hugely detrimental and totally unnecessary,” said CIF director Tom Parlon.
With already high labour costs and scarcity of trades, the CIF warns that construction workers are considering leaving Ireland to work abroad.
Update April 2021: Commencement noticed submitted during the January to March lockdown will remain valid until April 26th 2021, thanks to legislation passed by government in April. The Department of Housing says there are over 4,400 dwellings associated with the valid commencement notices to which these Regulations will apply. Normally, commencement notices need to be submitted not less than 14 days before building can start on a site.