Artist's impression of the new Compton and Edrich Stands at Lord's, after planning permission was secured
Construction work on the new Compton and Edrich stands at Lord's is to continue, despite the UK's ongoing lockdown in response to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak.
The MCC has extended its closure of the ground until the end of May, as well as cancelling a planned AGM. Chief executive, Guy Lavender, also confirmed in a letter to members that more than half of the club's staff has been furloughed as part of the government's coronavirus job retention scheme.
The UK's lockdown rules mean that all but essential members of the workforce are being encouraged to work from home, but they have not put a halt on construction. The redevelopment of the two stands either side of the Lord's media centre is due to be completed by May 2021 but would be able to accommodate spectators this summer - although the shape of the fixture list is now very much open to change.
Work at Lord's, which will increase capacity to 31,000, is being carried out by construction firm ISG and will continue unless government advice changes.
"The construction of the Compton and Edrich stands is continuing for the time being," Lavender wrote. "At present, ISG wish to continue to work as do their sub-contractors. We have discussed and supported their plans to enable safe working and adherence to government advice.
"This includes two-metre distancing, additional parking and vehicle transportation, enlarged rest areas to maintain separation, proactive management and on-site monitoring.
"This phase of construction is entirely open plan and does not involve enclosed working. Should the government issue instruction for construction to stop, ISG will adhere to this immediately."
The MCC has also opened up use of 75 parking spaces at Lord's for staff working at local hospitals, as well as providing storage for the Wellington Hospital, located just to the north of the ground. Surplus food has been provided to City Harvest London, which redistributes to help feed the hungry.