SOME construction workers continue to work through the coronavirus outbreak while other sites will close, following an announcement which leaves the decision in the hands of construction companies.

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday, which effectively put the UK in to lockdown, questions arose over whether construction workers were considered ‘essential workers’.

Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said work on building sites could continue but workers should practise social distancing. But many housing developers have chosen to close their sites.

Bellway Homes, which is building houses in Corbridge for its development Stanegate Manor, announced it would close all construction sites by the end of the week, although site managers would be allowed onto developments for security purposes and handovers.

And Barratt Homes, which is part of David Wilson Homes which owns the Woodland Rise housing development in Hexham, said it would close all sites over the next few days, with staff working in the meantime to make sure projects were safe and secure.

But a Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said work was continuing on new school developments. She said: “Both the council and our contractors are closely monitoring developments nationally and locally, and adhering to all Government advice and guidance. Work is continuing on both Hexham and Ponteland sites at present, however this may change as future decisions are taken.”

Meanwhile, Highways England said it would continue with works on the A69 roundabout at Hexham.