Liz Canavan, assistant secretary for social policy at the Department of the Taoiseach, said today that the construction industry had been given 48 hours to comply with social distancing guidelines. 

Ms Canavan said each building site had to have a designated person to ensure compliance with social distancing. 

Meanwhile, SIPTU said today that health and safety standards to protect workers from the Covid-19 virus should be enforced at all construction sites and other workplaces, and if not, they should be immediately closed down.

"Our absolute priority is for the health and safety of workers both in construction and across the economy," commented SIPTU Deputy General Secretary, Gerry McCormack.

"For as long as the Government holds the position that construction sites should stay open, we will be working tirelessly to ensure that the Covid-19 containment standards can be met," Mr McCormack stated. 

He said that where distancing and other safety standards cannot be met those sites should be closed. 

"Employers have a duty of care to their workers and we intend holding them to that. SIPTU representatives who are concerned about safety standards at a particular site will insist on its immediate inspection," he added.

Unite, which also represents construction workers, wants the Government to go a step further however.

It has written to the Taoiseach seeking the closure of building sites to help halt the spread of COVID-19.