Housebuilders Cairn Homes and Glenveagh Properties have closed down their construction sites around the country after new Government restrictions on non-essential businesses came into force on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Grafton Group also said it had closed its Woodie's DIY, Home and Garden business as a result of the new restrictions.

It also announced a significant scaling down of the operations of its distribution business here.

Grafton said it will only supply materials on a delivery-only basis to essential health projects, critical road and utility infrastructure and emergency supplies to businesses and homes in line with the new public health guidelines.

"Our primary concern at this time is the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers, business partners and the communities where we operate, and we will continue to monitor and respond as appropriate to the advice of Governments and health authorities in each of our markets," Grafton said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Cairn Homes said it is closing all of its residential construction sites for the next two weeks, until April 12, in line with Irish Government guidelines.

It said it acted immediately to implement the necessary health and safety measures required when closing a site for an extended period to ensure they are secured and remain safe for residents living in completed phases or those in the neighbouring area.

"The health and safety of our employees, subcontractors, customers and the general public is of the utmost importance," the company said.

It added that it will continue to follow Government and Department of Health guidelines relating to Covid-19 and will provide any updates which impact the company as appropriate.

In today's statement, the company also said that it has a strong balance sheet with total equity of €763.7m as at December 2019, underpinned by €897.3m in inventories. 

Cairn Homes was working at several sites up to Friday, including sites in Rathgar, Lucan, Donnybrook, Balgriffin, CityWest, Hanover Quay, Newcastle, and Killiney in Dublin and at Greystones in Co Wicklow, Naas and Maynooth Co Kildare and Ashbourne in Co Meath. 

Glenveagh Properties also said today that in line with updated Government guidance to combat the spread of Covid-19, it has implemented an orderly and safe closure of all its construction sites.

Glenveagh said it will reopen its sites when the Government confirms that it is appropriate to do so. 

As noted in last week's trading update, Glenveagh said it continued to benefit from a robust balance sheet with net debt of approximately €4m, cash resources and available committed facilities of €121m as well as a further €125m of uncommitted facilities.

Up to Friday night, Glenveagh was operating at sites in Rush, Balgriffin, Donabate, Ballyboughal, Blackrock and Shrewsbury in Dublin, as well as sites in Navan, Stamullen and Clonee in Co Meath, Kilcock and Leixlip in Co Kildare, Drogheda in Co Louth, Greystones in Co Wicklow and Douglas and Blackrock in Co Cork. 

Both companies last week also said they were suspending their full year forward guidance.