UK response to Covid-19 back to some normality for the summer?

“In recent announcements, it has become increasingly clear that the government is looking to start up sections of the British economy”

A month ago, the UK government shifted gears on the coronavirus lockdown. While the Prime Minister continues to warn us to be alert, and there is widespread realisation that we’re still in the grip of a worldwide pandemic, various needs must be balanced. The British people need jobs, and so does the country’s economy, which cannot remain frozen forever. The powers that be have decided now is the right time to start encouraging some sectors to return to work – and the next two months will be a crucial period in determining two things. First, whether we are far enough along in the battle against Covid-19 for this to be the right medical decision. And second, whether there are sufficient levels of demand for businesses to operate again.

The new lockdown strategy has five phases, which will determine the speed at which British life can return to normal. There are already some important differences that have been announced – such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suggestion that people who cannot work from home should now feel free to return to the office (though not, if they can help it, via public transport). Manufacturing and construction are two key industries where workers are being encouraged to return – the latter of which is a main driver for the timber industry (see our other story this month to get an insight into construction’s recovery plan!). However, while new house sales have remained reassuringly high, many insiders say we’re not out of the woods yet.

Speaking to journalists, Timber Trade Federation CEO David Hopkins said: “it’s clear [from a recent TTF survey] that there is no shortage of stock within the supply chain, and that traders are ready to re-start operations as soon as the manufacturing and construction sites they serve also start operations. It is important that all businesses maintain communications up and down their supply chains to ensure a smooth re-start of business across the country just as soon as it is safe to do so. As the UK emerges from this crisis, we will be calling on the government to inject stimulus into sustainable construction, with timber a key part of an emergent green economy.”

As UK coronavirus new cases begin to slow down, and Scotland records no new deaths for the first time, hopes around the country are that we can go back to something approximating normal life. For those of you whose normal life involves working with timber, Quercus are pleased to offer their services once more. If you want to discuss which timber is perfect for an upcoming job or make an order, please contact us on 0845 50 50 311.